Black History Month - The Children's Guild

It’s Black History Month!

The Children’s Guild values our administrators, teachers, students, and families from all backgrounds and walks of life. This month, we are highlighting trailblazers and innovators who are pioneers in education and dedicated to ensuring that people of all ethnicities have exceptional educational opportunities.

The Children’s Guild is an education organization that manages charter and alternative schools in the Washington, D.C., and Maryland regions. Education is our passion, and we want to take this month and spotlight prominent figures who inspire and influence the work we do every day.

 Virginia Randolph – A Pioneer in Vocational Education

Ms. Randolph was an American educator and was named the United States’ first “Jeanes Supervising Industrial Teacher” by her Superintendent of Schools.   She led a program funded by the Jeanes Foundation to upgrade vocational training throughout the U.S. South as her career progressed. She has two schools of the Henrico County Public Schools system named in her honor. In 2009 Ms. Randolph was posthumously honored by the Library of Virginia as one of their “Virginia Women in History” for her career and contributions to education.  Her courage, innovative mind and forward thought has allowed for organizations like The Children’s Guild to combine vocational experiences and opportunities with secondary education.

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 Benjamin Banneker — A Bold Ask

Banneker was largely self-educated in astronomy and mathematics. He assisted in the surveying of territory for the construction of the nation’s capital. He also became an active writer of almanacs and exchanged letters with Thomas Jefferson, politely challenging him to do what he could to ensure racial equality. Banneker’s bravery to challenge the United States laws to allow students of all ethnicities and backgrounds has allowed The Children’s Guild to offer education to students of all ethnicities.

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Fanny Jackson Coppin – A Principal, A trailblazer

For 37 years Fannie Jackson Coppin was a teacher, then became a principal at the Institute for Colored Youth in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, making her the first African American woman to receive the title of school principal. During her tenure, she made improvements at the school, believing that a broader range of education is necessary to enable African Americans to become self-supporting. Her belief in self-supporting education has paved the way to one of missions of The Children’s Guild, student focused learning where the whole child’s wellness is our approach to learning.

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Lauren Rochelle Fernandez – Destigmatizing neurodiversity for all

Lauren Rochelle Fernandez is an Autism, ADHD & Mental Health activist, advocate, and ambassador. Lauren strives to empower, educate, and destigmatize neurodiversity and mental health in the multicultural community, with the aim to highlight racial and gender disparities and inequalities faced by service users and their families. Lauren has recently been recognized as one of the 30 people with Autism you want to know by the Art of Autism. Lauren’s advocacy work is very important to The Children’s Guild because like her, we seek to knock down the doors of discrimination for our students who are challenged educationally or who have been be identified on Autism spectrum.

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Booker T. Washington—Opened the Door to Education!

Booker T. Washington was an American educator, author, orator, and adviser to several U.S. presidents. He was intelligent and curious at a very young age, yearning for the opportunity to have access to education. His desire to sit at the table of learning was the catalyst that propelled him to become a teacher at Hampton Institute, later to become the first leader of the Tuskegee Institute in Alabama. In addition to Tuskegee Institute, Washington instituted a variety of programs for rural extension work and helped to establish the National Negro Business League. Washington’s desire, curiosity and determination is what The Children’s Guild loves to nurture in our students from all ethnicities and backgrounds. We enjoy elevating their position at the table of education, by providing social, emotional, educational, and developmental learning practices which will help them thrive as Booker T. Washington did for so many generations of people.

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