CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Half a century after becoming the first African-American children to desegregate a Charleston school, two women returned to dedicate the school's new building.
Oveta Glover and Barbara Ford Morrison returned to James Simons Elementary School to officially dedicate the new facility and tour its halls, according to a release from the Charleston County School District.
At the dedication ceremony, Glover spoke of the fear she felt on her first day there in 1963 when Simons Elementary became one of only four schools in Charleston to admit African-American students. Glover told a new generation of students that to be able to appreciate the present, they must remember past sacrifices of others.
Students sang "We Shall Overcome," an anthem of America's Civil Rights Movement after a ribbon cutting.
The school first opened in 1919, and according to a new historical marker placed out front, was the fifth public elementary school in Charleston with an initial enrollment of 600 students.
Students and faculty were temporarily relocated to the Brentwood Campus in North Charleston in 2009 to allow workers to complete the new building. The historical facade facing Moultrie Street was preserved as a historical importance of the school, the release states. The school has offered a Montessori program since August, 2013.
Students returned to their new school in January, 2014.