Celebrating Weeksville Through The Eyes Of The Future

By: Akirah Harris, Desiree Henderson, Janiyah Hughes, Ailec Lasalle, Chasity Patrick,  Jayla Shuler, Janae Singleton, Amya Torres, Ranasia White, Maurice Williams, Students Deborah Alexander and Jean Derico, Supervising Teachers

Weeksville Historymakers and Journalists…
Students, faculty and administrators from The Weeksville School/P.S. 243 joined Weeksville Heritage Center Board members, supporters, friends, community leaders and Brooklyn Borough President Markowitz at the recent groundbreaking for the complex to open this Spring. The students, with the help of their teachers, also developed and wrote the article on this page describing the historic occasion.
The Weeksville students, in the photo, are: kneeling on floor in pink- Jayla Shuler, 2-113; next to her with barrettes-Janae Singleton, 2-113; kneeling in blue looking up-Janiyah Hughes, 3-207.
On left- girl in white shirt-Desiree Henderson, 2-113, girl facing away from camera-Ailec Lasalle, behind Ailec is Akirah Harris, 2-113, next to her is Chasity Patrick, 2-115, then Ranasia White, 2-115. The boy is Maurice Williams-3-207.
Back row, from left: Principal Karen Hambright-Glover; child is Amya Torres, 3-207; Teacher- Deborah Alexander (behind Amya); Teacher- Jean Derico, and Weeksville founding Board member Dr. Marguerite Thompson, left of Mr. Markowitz
Amongst the friends and supporters in this photo are: Timothy Simons, Board Chair, back row, left; Board member Eleanor Rollins, to the right of Mr. Markowitz; former Board member Pauline Barfield, standing next to Ms. Rollins; and, far right, Judith Burgess, also a former Board member.
(Photo credit: Bernice Elizabeth Green)

On Wednesday, December 11, 2013, after invited 2nd and 3rd grade students returned to P.S. 243, The Weeksville School, they had to reflect on their visit to The Weeksville Heritage Center’s Ribbon Cutting.

When we were picked to go to the Weeksville Heritage Center Ribbon Cutting, we didn’t know what would happen. We thought we were going somewhere with a few people. We were excited, curious and nervous but we felt special to be picked. We knew that The Center is part of the Weeksville community just like our school.  We now understand that this is important because it will be a place to teach us and everybody else a piece of our Black history.

Akirah Harris:     When they made their speeches and said our school name, I was very excited.  I would like to visit everyday so I can learn about my community. I will take my family and friends.  Last year, we planted vegetables, made a fruit salad and saw the bee hives at Weeksville.  This year, I see the vegetables are taller. I wonder if the bees are alive. I can’t wait for Spring!

Desiree Henderson:      I felt delighted visiting the Weeksville Heritage Center.  I listened to the speeches and they told me all about the Center. I can keep going back because I want to do everything there. I am glad I was one of the first children to see the inside of the building. It looks beautiful!

Janiyah Hughes:     When the people made speeches, they were talking to us future kids. There were many different kinds of people there and many of them spoke to us. I liked the beginning when we watched the man who thanked everybody in the past and now who helped with the Center. He poured water in a bowl then after we said, “Ashe”.  I felt glad.


Ailec Lasalle:     My experience today at the Weeksville Heritage Center was really good.  I was impressed by the amazing speeches and all of the changes to the Weeksville Garden.  When I was at the Center, I felt happy, satisfied, excited and surprised with all of the adult attention and what I experienced. The Weeksville Center is a big deal now.  When we grow up, we have to take care of it.  Students should go on weekends so they can learn about the Weeksville history.

Chasity Patrick:     I learned that when I grow up, I have to take care of the Weeksville Heritage Center. The purpose of the Center is so people can know about their community. James Weeks was the person to buy this community and I learned that James Weeks and other people made this community a good place to live.  I will further my search to learn more about the Weeksville community by going to the Center.

Jayla Shuler:          It was very joyful to be a part of the opening of the Weeksville Heritage Center. The speeches were a learning experience for me and I like learning new things. I learned that P.S. 243 is a very special connection to the Weeksville Heritage Center.

Janae Singleton:     I felt happy about learning more about the Weeksville Heritage Center.  Marty Markowitz talked about how much he loves Brooklyn and he was glad that the Center is in Brooklyn. I am very delighted that the Center is where I live in Brooklyn! Last year, I made cocoa butter lotion for my mom at the Center and gave it to her as a Christmas present.  Since then, I told my family and friends about the Center and they want to go!

Amya Torres:     I felt very satisfied with the event because the slideshows showed you how people looked and how the Weeksville garden looked a long time ago.  It showed how Weeksville looked then and how it looks now. To participate in the Weeksville Heritage Center, we can go more often and bring whole classes like we did last year.  We can let our neighbors know this learning Center is in their neighborhood.


Ranasia White:      I felt they did a very good job speaking because everybody clapped a lot.  For example, when Marty Markowitz spoke about us being the future, people clapped.  I enjoyed taking all of the pictures with different people too.

Maurice Williams:     I felt proud of myself for being one of the first ones to represent my school, P.S. 243 at the Center.  Tim Simons told us, ‘You can be whatever you want to be. Just believe in yourself. Nobody can stop me. I am the future’.  When he and other people were making speeches, I said in my head when I get older I am going to take care of this place. Right now, I’m going to tell all the students to go to visit the Weeksville Heritage Center. I want to go a lot because I would like to show them all around.

In conclusion, we are proud to have this very important job as junior reporters for Our Time Press about this important celebration. Thank you, Ms. Daria Hall, Weeksville Heritage Center Board Member, for inviting us.  We are very grateful. Ashe!


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