Event planned for 10 a.m. Oct. 1 at Saint Paul’s Church, Mount Vernon
MOUNT VERNON, N.Y. (Sept. 29, 2015) — The National Park Service will host a recognition ceremony for the renaming of two Mount Vernon City School District (MVCSD) schools as part of its nationwide centennial celebration at 10 a.m. Oct. 1.
The two schools, which were renamed in May, honor Rebecca and Benjamin Turner, former slaves who established a homestead and raised a family near Saint Paul’s Church in the city. The schools are now named the Benjamin Turner Middle School and the Rebecca Turner Elementary School. The event will be held at St. Paul’s National Historic Site, located at 897 S. Columbus Ave., Mount Vernon.
This brief morning event is targeted to all 4th and 7th graders at the new Turner Schools. Children will be deemed “National Park Rangers” for the day. The event acknowledges the local renaming efforts of Dr. Larry Spruill, city historian, and former MVCSD Trustee Elias Gootzeit. The event includes music on the historic Erben pipe organ, student presentations, traditional African drummers leading the procession to the grave site and a floral homage at the grave of Rebecca Turner in the Saint Paul’s Church yard. It cultivates the celebration of the Centennial of the National Park Service, fostering a more complete understanding of our nation’s history and urging a more inclusive future.
The event is free and open to the public. For more information, visit www.NPS.gov/SAPA
About Mount Vernon City School District
With more than 8,000 students in 16 schools, the Mount Vernon City School District is committed to providing a quality education to its children as well as developing programs that meet the diverse academic and social needs of its students.