Harvest from the Old schoolhouse garden

Green onions and broccoli are harvested from the Old Schoolhouse garden. Kids get an education on organic farming, food sustainability, composting and environmental stewardship from Raphael Al Kemi, master gardener, who laid out and framed the beginning garden beds to teach students. The seeds were initially planted by members of the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority as shown in the video below.

Rev Giddens Part 2- MLK tribute at old schoolhouse

This brief tribute was given by Rev. Frank Giddens on the AKA Martin Luther King Day of Service remodeling project, at the Old Schoolhouse. He noted the hard times of old and mentioned sacrifice- life often involves sacrifice and suffering to make a better way. He also referenced an old scripture- putting your hands to whatever you were given to do with might.

Not trendy messages to be sure, but sorely needed in many places. Click video to see Giddens’ speech. Above is a picture of he and his wife Essie, the first schoolteacher at the Old Schoolhouse.

Click for video:

Rev Frank Giddens Part 1 on the old Espanola schoolhouse restoration

The All Kids Are First Old Schoolhouse is a remnant of the days of segregation, but was built with the “sweat equity” of the local community so children could get an education. The desegregation era saw a lot of community institutions, often developed at considerable sacrifice, and sources of pride and achievement, hastily torn down, destroyed and discarded- a fact that still rankles many black communities (Patterson, 2008). It is the first black schoolhouse in Flagler County, Florida, in the town of Espanola. Alone of all the former black schools, only the Espanola Schoolhouse remains.
Click below to watch video of Rev. Giddens speak about the Old Schoolhouse at the AKA King Day of Service, in Espanola – a project to help the restoration effort

It fell into disrepair in the 1970s as community children were shifted to other venues, but over the years, the crumbling structure was slowly rebuilt by Rev. Frank Giddens of the St. Paul’s Baptist Church, whose vision is to create an academic tutoring program, youth center and summer camp for the town’s disadvantaged youth. Rev Giddens also has another attachment to the old building besides history. His wife, Essie Mae Giddens, was the first teacher at the old building, and one of the first black teachers in Flagler County.

Apply yourself – PART 2 interview with Sue Fray, President of Alpha Kappa Alpha, Flagler County

PART 2- Brief interview with Sue Fray,  president of the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority – Chi Delta Omega  Chapter – Flagler County, Florida on the AKA Martin Luther King Day of Service, at the All Kids are First Old Schoolhouse, Espanola Florida, Jan 21, 2013.

Her message for young people was simple – QUOTE: “Let them know they’re beautiful, they’re smart, they’re intelligent – all you need to do is apply yourself.”