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West End Connection Members Working To Set Up Darwin School Reunion

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader
West End Connection Members Working To Set Up Darwin School Reunion

West End Connection Members working to set up the first-ever Darwin School Reunion for alumni and the community.

Reunion Co-Chair Lori Strode said they plan on having music, dancing, food, and celebration. Strode said that they wanted to take the time to honor all of those who paved the way for future generations.

“We want to pay tribute to the generation of educators who shaped our elders and the people who are important to us,” Strode said. “I myself am an educator for the Putnam County School System and I wouldn’t be able to be in the position that I’m in without these folks who came before me.”

Reunion Co-Chair Monica Reynolds said that the idea came from her mother, whose older siblings and mother attended the school.

“I was at my mom’s house and I was talking to her about the organization because we’re still sort of new,” Reynolds said. “And I was looking through her Darwin School Annual that she had at home, she’d had that Annual forever. Keep in mind she did not attend Darwin herself because she was born a little bit after the fact, so she never went to Darwin but her older siblings went and her mother went. And I was looking through and she looked over at me and she said, ‘You know what, y’all should have a reunion for them.’”

Reynolds said that the school opened in the early 1900s for African-American students in the Upper Cumberland region. She said that once it burned down in 1968, it was never rebuilt.

Strode and Reynolds both said that the reunion is something long overdue. They said that they hope to hear from alumni and folks in the community as they prepare for the reunion set for Labor Day weekend.

“We just want it to be festive and excellent, an excellent fun event for them,” Strode said. “We’re planning for music, a DJ and live music (…) food, drink, dancing, various merrymaking. We would like for them to have door prizes, we just want a really fun evening for them. We just want it to be celebratory and fun.”

Reynolds said that if you are alumni of Darwin School, to reach out to her or Lori with your information. She said that they want to extend a proper invitation both for the reunion itself, and for the events leading up to the reunion planned for Labor Day Weekend.


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