Help Preserve Valena C. Jones School!

Valena C. Jones School -1929

 CreoleGen encourages its readers to contribute to the effort to preserve the historic Valena C. Jones School. Some of us here at CreoleGen were present at a recent school board meeting, when the sale of Jones and several historic school buildings was fortunately postponed due to community outcry. A significant step is to erect a marker at Jones School. Read below to find out how you can help.

The Plessy and Ferguson Foundation is partnering with Beecher Memorial United Church of Christ to place a historical marker on the site of the Valena C. Jones Elementary School in New Orleans’ Seventh Ward neighborhood. Valena C. Jones was the first public elementary school for African American children in the Seventh Ward; a quest which began in 1905 by community members who sought an adequate education for their children. The building you see today was dedicated in October 1929, 86 years ago this month.

The goal is to raise $3000.00 to pay for the cost of the plaque which is $2590.00 and a little extra for the unveiling ceremony and reception on November 14, 2015, which will be held at the site of the school on North Miro and Annette streets 12 pm. Together we will preserve the memory of Jones School, our early teachers and recognize the work of the Seventh Ward Education League and Beecher Memorial Church. The building should be placed on the National Register of Historic Places and restored, allowing this sacred space to once again, serve the community and future generations. Click the link HERE to make your contribution to this very worthy cause!

(CreoleGen has featured Valena C. Jones School, its founders, its history, its normal school, its teachers, its distinguished visitors, and its countless alumni on several occasions. Simply enter “Valena C. Jones” in the search box at the top of the page to learn more.)

12 thoughts on “Help Preserve Valena C. Jones School!

  1. Has the Plessy v. Ferguson Foundation begun the process of getting the school on the National Register of Historic Places? Is there any help needed with that process?

    • Hi Sabrina,

      The Plessy Ferguson Foundation has not begun the process of getting the school on the National Register of Historical Places as of yet. At present, they have been working toward keeping the building from being auctioned off by the school board which they achieved in August of this year. Their present goal is the placement of a plaque for the purpose of educating the board and the community to the historical significance of Valena C. Jones School. I am sure they would appreciate help now and in the future with this effort. Thanks so much, Sabrina for supporting such a great cause.

  2. My mom; Shirleymae Rigatd attended Valena C. Jones and although she has passed I would like to make a donation in her honor as one of their alums.

  3. My younger brother (Joseph)and I remember quite fondly the school-day walks from our home on Columbus Street to our grammer school classes at Valena C. Jones. We remember the walk-n-run-throw-a-stone-tease-a-girl daily travel-long down North Broad across the (‘be sure to hold your brother’s hand-n-watch-out-for-the-cars’) “Circle” area at St Bernard. About Valena C. Jones; what I remember most are the fire drills and the thrill of sliding down the giant escape tube. WHOOPIE!! This was in about 1938-39.

  4. It is tragic how African American sites and history are being destroyed. The home of Fannie C. Williams was destroyed for no good reason and there was ugliness when the suggestion was made to keep her home as a historical site. It was lovely and Ms. Williams was an important person in the education of many of us.

    Hope you are successful with this effort and that you will keep an eye on the homes of others and the historical buildings which deserve historical status.

    Living in Boston it is not unusual for such historical status to happen. However, it is always the historical status for Whites and not Black history.

  5. My younger brother and I use to attend Velena C. JONES. We took many walks up Elysians Fields Ave to Frenchmen St. Also we use to go to the candy store on the corner every morning.

  6. Valena C. Jones was a model school in New Orleans. It’s legacy has manifested throughout the years with the successful outcomes of it’s students. I was happy to contribute to the commemorative plaque. I hold fond memories of Miss Fannie C. Williams, teachers, and friends at Jones School. My father, Mr. Alvin Gray was a long time teacher there, and the composer of the school song,
    “Valena C. Jones”. What a pity that such a significant monument of the Seventh Ward along with its outstanding contributions to the academic development of African American children has become another target for insignificance. I have great faith that with the strengths of its products, it will be rendered a permanent New Orleans historical site.

  7. Thank you all for your wonderful tributes and memories. Your words truly signify the importance of Jones School over the years. I would like to add a page in the program to include your commemorations and donations if that is okay with you.

    Your financial support has made this effort in keeping history alive, possible.

    Thank you,

    Phoebe Ferguson
    Executive Director
    The Plessy and Ferguson Foundation

    • Hi Phoebe,

      CreoleGen would be honored for you to add a page in your program to include commemorations/ donations of our viewers and organization. Special thanks to your Plessy Ferguson Foundation for all the hard work you all have done toward making this historical plaque a reality.


  8. Thanks to creolegen for featuring the effort to preserve Valena C, Jones School. My sister, cousins, and I will donate in memory of MRS. ALINE PAJAUD, the first Kindergarten teacher at Valena C.Jones School.

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