Alumni of Mica School, now known as Mt. Zion School, recently gathered to share experiences, discuss potential uses of the site and possible funding mechanisms to complete the restoration of the building.
The One-Class School is one of three remaining Rosenwald Schools in Charles City County. The schools were funded by the Rosenwald Foundation. Julius Rosenwald, an Illinois philanthropist and co-owner of Sears, created the foundation at the behest of Booker T. Washington, director of the Tuskegee Institute in Alabama. The organization provided funds to schools in rural and isolated communities at a time when little or no public money was spent on the education of black youth. Mount. Zion received a contribution of $ 450 from the local black community, a contribution of $ 300 from Charles City County and $ 250 from the Rosenwald Fund.
Around 1915, students in Grades 1 through 5 began attending school and continued until 1949 when all students transferred to the Ruthville School. The liberated school has become a place for adults to learn about voting and other civic matters and a site for church and social gatherings. Years later it was used as a club house for hunters. However, the deterioration of the building accelerated.
Students are not reaching out to the community to save the invaluable cultural resource. Mount. Zion elders ask the community to respond to possible uses of the restored school building. The group is calling for the younger generation to help continue the history of Charles City County.
Ideas and suggestions can be provided to Jackie Wallace through the Richard M. Bowman Center for Local History at 804-652-1516 or by email at [email protected]