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, Marie Reed will undergo a full modernization. The original building, constructed in the early 1970s, was designed to serve the entire Adams Morgan community. The site included a 1200-student elementary school, a recreation space, a 600-seat gymnasium/auditorium, a public health clinic, adult education facilities, and underground parking. The renovation architects have worked closely with the school and area residents to restore the original intent, creating a space that brings together learning and the community.

The modernization plans include a Legacy Walk, a prominently located space for museum-quality exhibits about the school’s history. The Story of Our Schools program will provide content for both the physical and digital exhibit components. Beginning in October 2016, approximately 10 students in grades 2nd - 5th will participate in an after-school club that meets for an hour every week. The students in the club will work together, solving problems and exploring to uncover historical facts about their school and community.

Working with teachers as well as curators, historians, collections managers, librarians, and community members, students will get the chance to enhance critical thinking and life skills. They will participate in historical walking tours of their community, visit museums and depositories, create their own mini-exhibits with a shadow box memory project, interview long-term residents, conduct hands-on research, and hunt for relevant photographs and imagery.

By the end of the school year, students will provide the content for the creation of a compelling exhibit that the entire community can take pride in and learn from. With a targeted reveal in fall 2017, the exhibit will have digital and physical 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.”