Germantown School News

Germantown School Community Heritage Center News Updates: 2022

Germantown School Community Heritage Center wins Maryland Historical Trust Grant

In July 2022, the Maryland Historical Trust selected the Germantown School community Heritage Center to receive a 2022 matching trust grant.  Our project, Worcester County Voices: Early 20th Century African American Education, will provide school visitors with 20 indoor and outdoor stations exploring the educational experiences of our students through their own voices.  Using our extensive artifacts and research we will take our visitors through the classrooms, materials and student activities and life of early 20th century students.  The matching grant continues our commitment to public/private partnerships.  We will be matching MHT grant funding with-in kind and cash contributions as we open our stations throughout 2023 and 2014.  Our first station, one which interprets the renovation process, will open in the Spring of 2023.

In addition to the exciting new exhibits planned for our museum, the GSCHC celebrated our return from COVID restrictions with a full plate of 2022 activities. 

GSCHC February/March Lecture Series

The Germantown School is hosted a series of lectures highlighting African American perspectives on Worcester County’s past. The lectures were held on Saturday mornings in February and March.  The format included presentations and discussions with light refreshments following.  All presentations were free and open to the public.  Topics for the lecture series included:

  • Reflections of African American Businesses in Worcester County
  • Traditions of healing in the African American community
  • The history of Rosenwald Schools, and
  • Methods of genealogy research

Plans are currently in progress for our 2023 offerings!

Buckingham Elementary School Spring Field Trip

The Germantown School joined with the Taylor House Museum to welcome Buckingham Elementary School’s third grade classes to a day filled with Worcester County History.  After a morning at the Taylor House Museum, students came to the Germantown School for lunch in our picnic area.  Following lunch, students rotated through stations inside and outside the school in order to gain a better understanding of what school was like in the early 20th century.  Students from the originals school were on hand to answer questions.  Commissioner Diana Purnell talked about healing in the African American Communities.  Dr. Clara Small from Salisbury University talked about the history of Rosenwald Schools.  Students played games including hopscotch and jacks.  The Lower Shore Land Trust talked about butterfly migration and board member Bob Conner talked about the Harrison Orchards that was integral to the Germantown community.

Summer Fun Kickoff

Germantown School’s Summer Fund Kickoff returned this year after a long COVID break. This event, free and open to all Worcester County students, celebrates the successful end to the school year in the same way it was celebrated at the original school.  Refreshments are served, and children enjoy a full day of games, pony rides, train rides, a bounce house as well as demonstrations from county police, fire and health departments.  Local organizations join in to make this an exciting day and a great way to begin the summer.

Fall Celebration of Dr. Charles Albert Tindley, the Father of Gospel Music

Fall brought back the Germantown School’s celebration of the music and life of Germantown Native, Dr. Charles Albert Tindley, known as the Godfather of Gospel Music.  The writer of almost 50 hymns, including Stand By Me and We Shall Overcome.  The celebration featured a number of local gospel choirs and soloists singing Tindley’s music, including special selections sung by the Tindley family.  In addition to the special Tindley exhibit on display in the school museum, participants offered oral histories of Tindley’s life and music helping participants better understand the life and music of this great man.

Holiday Open House and Book Signing

The Germantown School Community Heritage Center will hold its holiday open house on Saturday, November 26, 2022. This year’s celebration will feature a book signing by Bishopville native and long-time Ocean City Recreation and Parks manager Al (Hondo) Handy.  Handy’s memoir, Defying Expectations: Family, Sports & Recreation, tells of his remarkable life from his early years as one of the first black students to attend Stephen Decatur High School, leading the basketball team to a state championship, a feat that brought the community together in a turbulent time, to his years working to build Ocean City’s vibrant community athletic programs which similarly fostered community bonds not only within Worcester County, but also with the many visitors who came to participate in Ocean City’s abundant, diverse recreational activities.  In addition to the book signing, museum will be opened for tours and children’s activities.  Holiday refreshments will be provided.