Bethel Elementary to honor former Bethel schools during Heritage Day

- Posted on May 11, 2011 - 04:15 PM

The staff at Bethel Elementary School is seeking to identify local residents who attended the third Gloucester County school to bear that name in order to invite them to Bethel Elementary School’s first ever Heritage Day at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, May 26.

Heritage Day will highlight the historical significance of educating Gloucester’s African-American youth on the same site at Sassafras from the mid-19th century to the mid-20th century. The event will recognize students who attended the former Bethel Schools and unveil an exhibit of photographs and artifacts. There will also be musical performances by members of Bethel Baptist Church and Bethel Elementary School students.

The current school is the fourth one named Bethel and the fifth educational facility housed on properties located near Bethel Baptist Church. It is the first Bethel school to serve a racially integrated population, as the first three served African-American children. The fifth educational structure at the site is Peasley Middle School, which opened in 1986.