Friday, May 1, 2009

Drew-Smith Elementary School

The school was started in 1951, named after Dr. Charles R. Drew and Mrs Annie M. Smith.

Dr. Drew was an American physician, surgeon, and medical researcher. He researched in the field of blood transfusions, developing improved techniques for blood storage, and applied his expert knowledge to developing large-scale blood banks early in World War II. This allowed medics to save thousands of lives of the Allied forces. As the most prominent African-American in the field, Drew protested against the practice of racial segregation in the donation of blood, as it lacked scientific foundation, and resigned his position with American Red Cross, which maintained the policy until 1950.

Annie M. Smith, the wife of Dandridge Smith(the grandson of Gum Springs founder West Ford), was the first black teacher at the Gum Springs School in the late 19th century. This school was built and owned by residents and instruction was provided by the Quakers.

Drew Smith Elementary School 1955

                                                              The Faculty
Reading left to right, Sitting, Miss Mabel M. Roscoe, Mrs. Mary M. Brown, Mrs. Annabel M. Patterson, Mrs. Eva P. Scott, and Miss Alice A. Williams; Standing, Mrs. Geneva W. Jones, Miss Naomi B. Gray, Mrs. Ruth S. Branch, and the principal, Mrs. Saunders B. Moon.