New Moton Museum project brings students together

Published 5:39 pm Tuesday, August 30, 2022

FARMVILLE – When the students at Prince Edward County High School and Fuqua School come together, it’s usually to compete in sports or academics. Now, the Moton Museum is providing a chance for these students to make a difference in their county. 

Bridge Builders is a community of young scholars who want to come together to encourage unity and create a better future for the schools, community and country. This program will help the students involved create stronger relationships, assist the Moton Museum, create a legacy project and earn a $1,000 college scholarship. 

How Bridge Builders started

Nine students from Prince Edward County High School and Fuqua School started this program earlier this month with officials from the Moton Museum. This project allows students from the two schools to come together in a noncompetitive setting as they work together to make their shared community better. 

“We are thrilled to be partners in this groundbreaking initiative with Prince Edward County Public Schools, Longwood University and the Moton Museum, and look forward to “building bridges” together towards a better tomorrow for all,” said Paul “Chance” Reynolds, the head of school at Fuqua School in a statement.

The juniors from the two high schools were chosen to be a part of this two year project after an application and interview process. According to Cainan Townsend, managing director of the museum, the students’ grade point averages were considered, but it was more important to find the students who had the creative drive and want to make a positive impact in the world.

How it works

The first part of this program is the foundational course. For this period, students will come to the museum and learn about the history of Prince Edward County. This part lasts through the first semester. Then during the spring of junior year and the fall of their senior year, the students will start the volunteer portion adding up to around 10 hours of community service. To finish off the course, the students will apply what they learned to create a capstone project identifying a problem or issue in the county with a practical solution to solve it. 

“We look forward to being involved in this productive and forward-thinking partnership between Prince Edward County Public Schools, Fuqua School and the Moton Museum,” said Dr. Barbara Johnson, superintendent of Prince Edward County Public Schools in a statement. “It will provide a great opportunity to introduce local history to our young people and give them the foundation of local community advocacy.”

What is the Moton Museum?

The Moton Museum is located at the former Robert Russa Moton High School on Griffin Boulevard, a birthplace of America’s student-led civil rights revolution. According to the museum’s website, the 1951 Moton Student Strike, led by Barbara Johns, produced three-fourths of the plaintiffs in Brown v. Board of Education, the Supreme Court case which desegregated American schools. Townsend hopes that being at this location will help inspire the current students realize they too can make a difference even though they are young. 

According to Townsend, this is the first of hopefully many Bridge Builder programs. There has been great community support and he hopes to start the application process for next year’s juniors at the end of this semester. 

“This is a great opportunity for students to come together and make a difference in the community,” said Townsend. “I’m already seeing relationships forming between the students and it’s awesome to see.”