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100-year-old schoolhouse gets a facelift in West Plains, Mo.

Published: Jun. 9, 2021 at 2:50 PM CDT|Updated: Jun. 9, 2021 at 6:09 PM CDT
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WEST PLAINS, Mo. (KY3) - Members of a group called “Young Vision” will be painting Lincoln School Thursday in West Plains.

Painting begins at 9 a.m., and the public is invited to pitch in. According to the founder of “Young Vision,” a group that fosters leadership in the under-45 age group, volunteers need only bring a paintbrush. “I believe in citizenship and community engagement,” said Carol Silvey. “To me, there’s nothing more powerful than as diversity expands in our country and in our community than recognizing the place that African Americans have had in the history of West Plains.”

Lincoln School opened in 1920 to educate black children during the days of segregation. Students from first through eighth grade attended the school. If they wanted to go to high school, Springfield was the closest town that had a high school for black students.

The school operated until 1954, when the US Supreme court mandated that schools be integrated. The building now is used to host community meetings, and is part of a neighborhood park.

Silvey said she’s hoping that one of the school’s students, Crocket Oakes, will attend the event.

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