Rock Hill students on Wednesday learned how hard it is to pick cotton off a seed and how to sew by hand. They also learned about segregation and the start of public schools in the U.S.
The students were visiting Carroll School, a historic school in Rock Hill that now serves as a place where fifth-grade students learn about the Great Depression, and the physical and oral history of the African-American community, according to the Rock Hill school district.
Carroll School was built in 1929 as one of more than 5,300 buildings in 15 states that was built by and for African-Americans, according to the district. The school was built as part of the Rosenwald Initiative, an effort by Booker T. Washington and Julius Rosenwald, president of Sears, Roebuck and Co., to provide educational opportunities for African-Americans in the South.
According to Rock Hill schools, Carroll School is “known as one of the most influential philanthropic forces that came to the aid of Negroes at that time.”
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The school closed in 1954, but was restored and reopened in 2004, said LeAnne Gardner, who teaches at Carroll School. It is now listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
“It basically designates this place as forever an important place in history,” Gardner said. “We will always be recognized and acknowledged as this site and the importance that it played within the Great Depression time period.”
Registration as a national historic place was an effort the district started a few years ago, Gardner said.
“It’s a national pat on the back that says this school is important and is relevant to society, and should not be torn down or destroyed in any way,” she said. “For this area to have a school on that level is a big deal.”