Second Street School Living History Program

Student at Second Street School.

Since 1984, third- and fourth-grade students from Loudoun County and neighboring areas have been recreating a school day in 1880 by taking on the roles of the African-American children who actually attended the school at that time.  The Foundation’s Second Street School Living History program, developed with the help of the National Endowment for the Humanities, fosters an appreciation of the opportunities and limitations faced by black children in a segregated one-room school. Recitation, seat work with slates and copy books, memory exercises, and a spelling bee are part of the two-hour school “day.”

Waterford Foundation volunteers take on the identities of the teacher, Miss Aura Nickens, and her assistant, Miss Lizzie Simms. The program reaches some 1,500 young scholars during a five-week fall session and a nine-week spring term each year.

In June 2012 the Loudoun County Public Schools website featured a video of students from one Loudoun County fourth-grade class during their one-room schoolhouse visit.  To reach an even greater audience with Waterford’s cultural history, we have produced interactive Second Street School and African-American history modules.

To experience life as a student in Waterford in 1880, watch an interactive video about how a student would learn, play, read, write, and even be punished.

Teachers: documents to prepare your classes for their Second Street School are available for download from this page.

Signup for the school year begins end of August . Phone or email the Foundation Office for more information on this acclaimed living history program
(540-882-3018 x3;