Historic Columbia Foundation Awarded Grant From AT&T for Mann-Simons Learning Our History Project

August 20, 2012

COLUMBIA, SC – August 17, 2012 – Historic Columbia Foundation was awarded a $11,500 grant from AT&T in support of the Mann-Simons community engagement project. The Learning Our History – Shaping Our Future project utilizes the Mann-Simons Site and Modjeska Simkins House to expose youth and elders to local African American history in a way that facilitates empowering intergenerational contact. The project also aims to expose youth and seniors to new technologies, and effectively promote citizen engagement.

The grant from AT&T supports a partnership between Historic Columbia Foundation, the University of South Carolina, Richland County School District One and the Booker-Washington Heights Neighborhood. Approximately 40 C.A. Johnson High School students and 40 Booker-Washington Heights neighborhood alumni will participate in the Learning Our History-Shaping Our Future project over a six-month period beginning in September 2012.

The project will use local history as the catalyst to extend meaningful outreach programs to high school students and senior citizens and enable the foundation to build greater organizational capacity for community engagement.

AT&T will present a check to the Historic Columbia Foundation at the Jubilee Festival of Heritage at 11:45 am on Saturday, August 18 at the Mann-Simons Site. Members of the media are invited to attend the presentation.

“We cannot fully appreciate where we are and where we’re going until we know where we’ve been, until we know our history.  The Historic Columbia Foundation’s ‘Learning our History – Shaping our Future’ project will help students and adults better understand our community’s African-American heritage,” said Ted Creech, External Affairs Director for AT&T South Carolina.  “By adding new technologies and new ways of experiencing the Mann-Simons Site and the Modjeska Simkins House, The Historic Columbia Foundation will be able to more meaningfully engage the community in more than two centuries of local history.  AT&T is very pleased to assist with this outreach.”

The Mann-Simons site, one of only a few sites in South Carolina once owned by freed African-Americans prior to the Civil War, and the Modjeska Simkins House, the former residence of the woman largely considered the matriarch of Civil Rights in South Carolina, are two of seven historic properties managed by Historic Columbia Foundation.

About Historic Columbia Foundation
In November 1961, a small group of individuals intent on saving the Ainsley Hall House from demolition, officially incorporated as the Historic Columbia Foundation. Over the next five decades the organization, which was founded on the premise ofpreservation and education, would take on the stewardship of seven historicproperties in Richland County. Today, the organization serves as a model for local preservation efforts and interpretation of local history. The 50th Anniversary year of Historic Columbia Foundation (which officially began onNovember 13, 2011) will include a variety of community celebratory events. Visit http://www.historiccolumbia.org for details.

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