the 30th Anniversary of the Poll Tax Abolishment!
Mrs. Marie Young provided the class with materials.
Local LeadersDescription of "Our Community"
Our community is located in the Tidewater Region of Virginia. Norfolk, Va. is the 2nd largest city just behind its bordering neighbor, Virginia Beach. Our community, Park Place is a low socio-economic environment where the population is predominantly African-American. James Monroe Elementary School is a community based institution where everybody works hand in hand.
Our fourth grade curriculum focuses on Virginia and Virginia history in a holistic point of view incorporating all aspects of learning. This project details extensive research on the city of Norfolk and the state of Virginia. Being an election year the class is constantly reading and writing about the Presidential Election.
We are learning to write a paper by taking a lot of information and bringing it all together to form one project. This project allows us to pull various vocabulary words together to broaden our knowledge. We did a lot of reading on taxes, the law, and novels on how blacks were being treated unfairly. The class found an abundance of information right on the computer.
Packard Bell Force 3570 PC, HP Scanjet, newspapers, microfilm, Dial Up account, Microsoft Works, Microsoft Word, HTML Assistant, XV When we started, our school only had 1 modern computer. A generous donation of a Packard Bell computer was given to us by the Joe Jordan Foundation just three weeks before the project was due. The Park Place Academy, a non-profit organization in the COMMUNITY, is now in the process of raising money to bring the school into the technology era of the 21 century.
People were contacted about our project in many ways. During our Black History Month program, invited guests were informed about the project. The subjects of our project Evelyn Butts and Joseph Jordan are well known. The students did not hesitate to share their knowledge about Butts and Jordan whenever they heard the names.
By phone, various members of the community were contacted for information they had about the Poll Tax. We received information from elders in the community such as Mrs. Marie Young, Mrs. M. Frances Knox (Mrs. Butts sister), and Mrs. Anna J. Brinkley (Mr. Jordan's sister). The Evelyn T. Butts street renaming committee headed by Mrs.Young also provided us with information.
Via E-mail, we contacted Internet users throughout the U.S. for information about the Poll Tax. We're hoping to get some comment from Mr. Johnnie Cochran, Jr. Esq. (O.J.'s lawyer) when he appears live on the Internet.
As a result of our efforts, we were invited to a celebration in honor of the 30 year anniversary of the Poll Tax abolishment. Virginia State House Delegate Jerrauld Jones presented a statewide proclamation in honor of Mrs. Butts name March 24, 1996, Virginia Voter Registration and Education Day. During the celebration our class read the project on Mrs. Butts and Mr. Jordan. The class also recited its class motto. Local TV stations Channel 3 and Channel 10 covered the event, and the local newspaper the Virginian-Pilot carried the story on the front page.
The class has received much praise for its efforts. The class received many personal congratulations and support.
This project has made a world of difference because the project was done on the computer and most importantly by children. What is unique about our project was the eagerness of the students. They took on this task like it was a Sega game boy and they were about to win. People in the Community were so impressed that they were given a standing ovation everywhere they performed. People in the community learned that our children can do anything if they just put their minds to it. The community has been admiring the all male class since the beginning of the school. The students were taught to be believers and achievers through motivation and high expectations. This carries over to everything that they do.
Now that the students are on line they are and will be communicating with people all over the world. They will gain knowledge and supply knowledge about the "Poll Tax". Using the computer has brought another piece of uniqueness to an already unique class. Now the world will know how wonderful they are!
This project involved many wonderful people to help gets us on our feet. Our principal, Mrs. Higgins has supported us 100% and allowed us to work diligently on the project. Mr. Rodney Jordan is the backbone who helped the project get started.
6. This school is now supported by many businesses, community leaders, churches, families, and volunteers. We are a "COZI" school which promotes a community based environment. Our partners are an integral part of our success. They help us by donating money, supplies, and most importantly their time to help the most important assest in our school, our students.