The Laurel Grove School in Franconia, Virginia is a restored one room “colored” schoolhouse built in the 1880s during Jim Crow Segregation by ordinary but astonishing people from the first generation born to freedom.  With generous funding from the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities and in close collaboration with historians, museum professionals, teachers, and digital history experts from the Center for History and New Media at George Mason University, we have created six standards-based, primary-source-rich history lessons. 

Our lessons have been field-tested by elementary, middle, and high school teachers in six Virginia school districts including Fairfax, Alexandria, and Fauquier. Through summer institutes, outreach sessions, and workshops we have introduced 67 teachers to our lessons, supported their use of the lessons, and encouraged their feedback. We also reach out directly to students by arranging field trips to the Laurel Grove School for 4th grade students and their teachers and by holding annual independent field trips at the school for high school students. With our current grant from the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities, we are working with teachers to collect and analyze student work generated by the Laurel Grove School lessons.