New Rosenwald Schoolhouse Opens at Burritt: 4th Graders Go ‘Old School’

Long anticipated, Burritt on the Mountain has opened their new Dorothy Davidson Rosenwald Schoolhouse. Students from all over the country will be able to have an immersive educational field trips at Burritt’s the new building. What a great way to usher in the State of Alabama’s Bicentennial!

Rosenwald School

Rosenwald Schools were built throughout the South to provide adequate facilities and educational opportunities for underserved African American children during the era of “separate but equal”. Between 1913 and 1932, Julius Rosenwald, a Jewish philanthropist and president of Sears, Roebuck & Co., and educator Booker T. Washington partnered together to build nearly 5,000 new schools in 15 states, including Alabama. Burritt’s Rosenwald Schoolhouse is a historic replica of one of those schools.


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“We are thrilled to be preserving this little-known part of Alabama History and offering students an educational experience they will remember all their lives,” Burritt CEO, Leslie Ecklund remarks. “This has been part of the Burritt dream for many years. Being able to add much needed space for our Burritt Folk School and our educational staff is also exciting and greatly needed in order to expand our mission of enhancing lives and building community through Education, Arts and Preservation.”

The “4th Grade Experience” Field Trip

Inside the school, photo exhibits about the history of Rosenwald Schools, as well as a 1918 replica classroom are frozen in time.

Beginning this Fall, Burritt On the Mountain will welcome 4th grade classes to experience an early 1900s school day from the morning Pledge of Allegiance to class dismissal after a day spent studying reading, writing and arithmetic. Students can have a true hands-on day at school – they are outfitted in era-appropriate clothes, repack their lunches in baskets & pails, write with nib pen & ink, and even do lessons on slates! Field trip add-ons area also available for those who want to basket weaving or gardening.

Burritt

Teachers can request a class field trips HERE, as well as lesson plans. Cost will be $12 per student with an additional $2 per student for add-ons. There is some funding available for full or partial scholarships due to generous community donations.

September 16 is Educator’s Day at Burritt! Teachers with an ID will be admitted FREE of charge to tour the new Schoolhouse. They can ask questions from knowledgeable staff about field trips and educational programs available. Explore the park and enjoy a day on the mountain afterward!

Not a 4th Grader? You can still explore the schoolhouse on museum grounds during guided tours or as part of Burritt’s Folklife events.

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