The Story of Our Schools is proud to partner with the students, parents, teachers, and staff at Marie Reed Elementary School in Adams Morgan (Ward 1) for our second pilot program.

During the 2016-2017 school year, the Marie Reed building underwent a full modernization. The renovation architects worked closely with the school and area residents to restore the building to it’s original intent by creating a space that brings together learning and the community. The modernization plans included a Legacy Walk, a prominently located space for museum-quality exhibits about the school’s history.

In October 2016, participating Marie Reed students (grades 2 - 5) met for an hour every week to explore and uncover the historical facts that tell the story of their school. By working with teachers, curators, historians, photographers, librarians, and community members, students got the chance to enhance critical thinking and life skills. They participated in historical walking tours of their community, visited museums and archives, created their own mini-exhibits with a shadow box memory project, interviewed long-term residents, conducted hands-on research, and searched for relevant photographs and imagery.

By the end of the school year, students unearthed enough content to create a compelling exhibit that the entire community can take pride in and learn from. With a targeted reveal of 2018, the exhibit will have elements that can be added to for years to come.


“As principal of Marie Reed for the past two years, I have learned more and more inspiring details about the community activism, anti-racist ideals, and progressive education that form the story of Marie Reed. I am so excited to be working with Story of Our Schools to provide students with the rich experience of unearthing their school’s history and creating a lasting exhibit to share with future generations of students!”


“The Story of Our Schools is an opportunity for the values of the community and lessons of the past to come to life for students and teachers alike. Additionally, for students this is a once in the lifetime opportunity. For teachers, this is the type of learning experiences that drew us to the classroom in the first place. For our community, this is a way to merge the old and new and keep the lessons of the past alive in our new space, while embracing the values that continue to linger on.”