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January 18, 2013

SEGREGATED TOGETHER: Students learn about ‘separate but equal’ in trip to Division Street School

(Continued)

NEW ALBANY —

“While they were there, one of my students said they like it better now,” Smith said. “They can recognize that everybody should be going to school together, that there’s no need to separate anyone based on their race.”

Megenity said lots of students talk about how they’re glad schools are no longer segregated after visiting, but they often bring their parents in for a visit.

“I’ve talked to their parents and most of them say it was one of their best days in school ever,” Megenity said. “They’re excited when they come here and they’re excited to bring their parents when they leave.”

Scott said the historic component of the day’s instruction gives students a different perspective of how life was during segregation, but she said it also gives them a little more understanding of where some of their classmates’ grandparents might have come from.

“I hope they’re more aware of the history and I hope they become a little more compassionate toward different people than what they were when they came into the school,” Scott said. “I hope they get to be exposed to more of different types of people, because when they do, they’ll get to understand them a little better.”

 

 

DIVISION STREET SCHOOL — OVER THE YEARS

1884

• Division Street School is established

 

1885-1946

• Black students attend Division Street School with only two classrooms. First-, second- and third-graders occupied one room and fourth- through sixth-graders took lessons in the other. The school closed in 1946.

 

1946-1948

• The building served as the local Veterans Affairs office.

 

1948-1997

• New Albany-Floyd County Schools used the space as a maintenance shop.

 

1997-2005

• Restoration by the Friends of Division Street School takes place. The district leases the building to the organization for $1 per year, covering many of the costs for operating the facility. Division Street School was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2002.

 

2006

• Division Street School becomes a learning center for students in New Albany-Floyd County School where students spend a whole day learning math, geography, reading and spelling lessons like they might have in 1885.

 

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08_01_back_to_school_7w.jpg

Students who attended the Renaissance Academy's Culture Camp lead other students in an exercise, brainstorming thoughts, fears and opinions of the new learning style and school. The Academy is largely based on projects, working in groups and hands-on education.

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