Big Gift for Historic Brazos Valley School

By: Derek Shore Email
By: Derek Shore Email

Edith Gilbert has worked at W.D. Spigner Elementary School in Calvert for more than 30 years.

However, Gilbert has a special attachment to her place of employment. Before she was teaching at W.D. Spigner, she was learning there.

But the school was much different back then, it was a school for black children only.

"I still feel lucky because I was able to go to a school and get an education," Gilbert said.

Lucky because black people weren't often able to go to school in rural Texas in the 1960's.

But Gilbert was lucky enough to get an education, something many take for granted.

"Thats why I felt so deeply to come back and help some of the other kids that are in this community," Gilbert said. "Because I love this school. I love it."

That love and the love of the community will continue to preserve the school, thanks to a hefty $50,000 grant awarded from the National Trust and Lowe's Hardware.

It is money to preserve a true symbol of pride for the alumni that gather there.

"I can think of every little thing we did and the principals we had and the teachers we had," said Mary Henry, a former student. "I'm proud of this school, I'm proud of this building."

So the school will continue to serve as a place to educate students, and for past students like Gilbert it offers a reminder of a time and place in American History not to be repeated.

"I treasure it like a monument to me," Gilbert said. "It's history to me so I would always want it to be here. It just brings back memories to me."

Before being called W.D. Spigner, the school was actually called Calvert Colored School until integration took place in the late 60's.

The $50,000 grant will be used to address safety issues and restore the building to its original condition.

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