Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Charles Young Elementary

Located right next to the Langston Dwellings, Charles Young Elementary sits atop a hill overlooking Langston Golf Course and the PEPCO plant. Built in 1931, the school was renovated about ten years ago (1997). Read about the renovation here in pdf). Charles Young is home to the Wildcats (the marching band is featured in this recent Frozen Tropics posting).


Juanita M. Campbell said...

Praise the Lord! I was seeking to find what is going on at Charles Young Elementary School. I was searching on to find my class mates, however, they had a school called Charles Young Platoon and I was not sure if it was the same school. I was blessed to attend Charles Young Elementary from 1961-1968. I had the best teachers and experiences throughout my foundational years. My kindergarden teacher was Mrs. Cater. She was a jewel. I can recall seeing her at the Benning Road market with my daughter and she still remembered me. What a blessed experience! She looked the same to me after all those years. I was blessed to meet her family at her homegoing service some years ago. I know so many schools in the district are closing and I am hoping this school will continue to stand. It is wonderful when you are 52 years old and you can remember each one of your elementary school teachers. I was blessed and highly favored in earning an education in the Washington Metropolitan school system.

It is wonderful to reflect and stand proud of the many devoted teachers who taught at this school.

I grew up in Carver Terrace and now God is sending me all over the world for His Glory! It all started with devoted teachers who loved and cared enough to give their very best!

Juanita M.Campbell

Karen said...

It was heartwarming to read your sentiments about Charles Young, I too feel the same way.Although,I don't recall your name, I am certain we encountered each other while attending Charles Young, I attended from about 65-71,my fondest childhood memories are of those growing up in Carver Terrace 1115 21st NE and attending Charles Young, remember the principal Ms.Elliott and later became Ms.Spottswood? My fav teacher of alltime was Ms.Perry who later married and became Ms.Johns. I could go on and on lamenting about the wonderful times I had at Charles Young. You can send me an email if you like at

Fred said...

Wow to hear someone talking about having Ms Carter as a teacher. When I was there you had to distinguish between tall Ms Carter and short Ms Carter. I had short Ms Carter. Even though you ladies came along quite a few years after me it is refreshing to read your comments. I was there during the time of Ms Winston. My time period would have been somewhere around 1957 to 1963. I as well grew up in Carver Terrace. Juanita is Campbell your married name and you were known as Juanita Diggs in school?
Fred Wilds

Anonymous said...

God Bless you All; I attended Charles Young when Martha Winston was principal. My first grade teacher was Mrs Alfred. My classroom was right there on the the 1st floor just down the hall from the Principals' offices and past the auditorium. I attended 1st through 5th grades there. The teachers were the BEST!! I was ahead of Juanita Campbell I am sure.
I remember Mr.Harps, Mr. Walker, Mrs. Greg and Mrs. Gilliary. DC had the most devoted educators of all times in those days. They cared about our future. They taught as an investment in who we would become. I too was blessed by this great old school and its faculty. I went on to earn my PhD. because of values instilled in me so early. I now proudly preach and teach the word of God to some wonderful ministers and worshippers.
I lived in Langston Dwellings then. I am 60 now. Happy and proud to hear from former Charles Young students.

I remember the difference in tall Mrs. Carter and short Ms. Carter.
I remember their faces so well.

God Bless,

Anonymous said...

It was so good to read your memories of Charles Young. I was there in the 1950s. Mrs. Carter (the short Ms. Carter), Mrs. Alfred, Mrs. Wyche, Mrs. Harley, Mrs. L.U. Johnson, Mr. Walker, and Lorraine Whitlock were all my teachers. I often tell others the way Mrs. Alfred taught all her students to read. There was no such thing as not being able to read in her class. I remember my first papier mache with art teacher, Mrs. Howard, the loving smile of Mrs. Carter, the way Mrs. Wyche made us practice our math skills, the wonderful hymns and spiritual songs we learned from music teacher Mrs. Lula U. Johnson, the respect we had for Martha Winston, the principal, the poems we had to learn for programs for Mrs. Whitlock, the strict discipline that I now understand from Social Studies teacher, Mrs. Thorpe, and last but not least, the handsome Mr. Walker, who inspired me to work hard at my social studies homework because he was so nice to us. My first introduction to the Bible may have been from Charles Young, because of the Sriptures I had to memorize for the Christmas plays. Praise God, I am so thankful for the spiritual and educational foundation I received at Charles Young.

Anonymous said...

Sorry. I forgot to include my name. The blog above is mine. I'm certainly not ashamed of remembering wonderful Charles Young Platoon school, the first elementary school in D.C. to operate under the platoon system (changing classes) and a historically black elementary school named after an African-American soldier.

Paulette Pettigrew

Karla Chappelle Howard said...

I am so proud to have attended Charles Young Elementary School when Ms. Martha H. Winston was principal. I grew up in Langston Dwellings, where the library was in the basement of the apartment building just 2 doors away from me. I "graduated" in June '66, no doubt wearing a pastel-colored dress with lace anklet socks. I was Captain of the safety patrol which, after being trained by students of Phelps High School, marched in the Cherry Blossom Parade each year.
My teachers were Ms. Ruth Ann Howell (3rd grade) and Ms. Harley, Ms. Hatcher and Ms Hughes in 4th through 6th grades.
Three of my best lifelong friends went all the way through Jefferson Jr. High and McKinley Tech together.
We were poor, like so many others in that time, but my teachers helped my Mom to open my eyes to a world beyond the "projects." I might have had holes in the bottoms of my shoes, but a little cardboard fixed that just fine. I was clean, my hair was combed, and I was respectful of my elders.
Boy! Those were the days.
Thank you, God, for placing those teachers in my path. And please excuse these "stream of consciousness" notes; I am so excited to have stumbled across this page.

Anonymous said...

I spent a few of the happiest years teaching art at Charles Young Elementary....1970 and can't remember when I was given part-time status and another school. Mattie B. Spottswood was principal. I remember having lunch in the kindergarten with Connie Carter. Mrs. Neale was the gym teacher. Idella M. Costner taught 6th grade. Rosalind Reed was the music teacher. Mr. Grigsby and Mr. Aldrich taught 4th grade.....can't for the life of me remember the science teacher's name....Larry something...tall dude with a big smile. I LOVED GOING TO WORK!!!!! Hard to believe I got paid to have fun doing art all day long....what a trip. I remember going down the line of sixth grade girls before graduation and retying all the bows on their dresses.....CRAZY.I also remember being thrilled when teachers were finally allowed to wear SLACKS...What an idea!Another memorable comment came from a kindergarten student who stated simply,"You is light skinned ain't ya Mrs.P!?" I answered right back...."Yup. I guess I am".....sure made me feel like family. Thanks to all of you students and faculty for giving me such a wonderful experience as a teacher. Good memories....Susan, who used to be Mrs. "P" the art teacher.

Ask Alyse said...

I attended Charles Young during the 60's and I received all the essentials for a rewarding education. I remember Ms Carter my kindergarten teacher. She had a daughter my age named Pamela, I think. I also remember Miss Turpin and Miss Vanlandingham. I would like to thank them all. I would like to hear from classmates as well. Charles Young was an excellent school! I remember when Lady Byrd Johnson had tulips planted there.
Jacqueline (Jackie) Steele

Walter Jackson said...

I wen to Charles Young in 1955 and was in the "short" Ms. Carter's kindergarten room (room 109) My father went to Charles Young when it first opened and Mrs. Martha H. Winston was the principal then as she was when I started school. Not only was she my principal but she was also a member of my home church (19th Street Baptist Church) along with Mrs. Ferguson. I used to walk from school to my grandparents' house through the "tunnel" under Benning Road because we were not allowed to cross the street. I mention Charles Young and Mrs. Winston in the autobiography I recently published "Keep At It". Rev. Walter A. Jackson

Erlease Burrell Jones said...

Yes, Charles Young Elementary school is Charles Young Platon School. I was Erlease Burrell when I attended Charles Young from 1952 through 1957.

Anonymous said...

Yes, Charles Young Elementary school is Charles Young Platon School. I was Erlease Burrell when I attended Charles Young from 1952 through 1957.Mrs. Martha Winston was principal. Some of my teachers were Ms. Sewell, Ms Carter x 2, Mr. Walker and others. zi loved changing classes in elementary school.

Paulette Pettigrew said...

For those of you who may not know, the wonderful building that we knew as Charles Young Platoon School has now been converted into a charter school called Two Rivers. However, whenever I see that building when I go that way, it will always register in my mind as Charles Young Platoon School. Spingarn, Browne, and Phelps still exist as schools under their same names, however.

Zi Sabir said...

I am so thrilled to have found this site. I have always had very fond memories of my first school, Charles Young Elementary. I attended this school 1950-1953.My name at that time was LaVern Lilly. I remember my teachers Mrs Grey and Mrs Alfred. I had Mrs Grey in Kindergarten and Second Grades and Mrs Alfred in First Grade. I remember a best friend classmate named Ruth Riley. My family lived at 2111 Eye St,NE.(next to the golf course. We moved to Florida when my father retired from the Navy in 1953. So, I always wondered what happened to my beloved Charles Young Elementary. I am so happy my son suggested today I try Googling the school name. I feel so blessed to have been able to connect with others who also share fond memories of Charles Young Elementary. Thank you all for sharing your memories and thanks to the person who created this site.

Wilton Bobo said...

Wilton Bobo: I Graduated from Charles young in 1950, Lived on Oklahoma Ave. I Cannot overstate the importance of Charles Young in my life. I offer my highest respect and appreciation to the fantastic teachers mentioned in the other posts. I do want to mention two teachers that I can never forget. Mrs Alfred, stopped me from stammering. Mrs Burke taught history, she was the ultimate motivator. I will never forget as a first grader the sight of Mrs Burke, seemed like she was 10 feet tall, towering over me saying "MY NAME IS BURKE AND BURKE MEANS WORK". We all replied yes Mam.

We should also recognize what we lost with the closure of these schools. Charles Young, Browne, Browne, Phelps and Spingarn prepared us for success. We were groomed to succeed in life. We changed classes at Charles Young. Consequently This procedure at Browne was no shock. At Browne, Dr Stinson taught us to respect ourselves and our environment to seek academic excellence. Spingarn was the finishing school."Dr. Williams expected and required that we compete in a;; areas. Not just compete, but >BRING HOME THE BACON".The lessons of the school campus have been with me through my life and I pass them on to those that follow.

The SADNESS is that a process and procedure for developing successful people has been dismantled. We did not know that we were poor, disadvantaged or that our parents had just arrived from the cotton fields of the South. We were taught expect succesca how to achieve it.

Parting thought: Why would you want to change the of the school from Charles Young, a hero, to Two Rivers, meaningless. I say its part of the process of dismantling the success engine of Charles Young, Browne, Phelps, and Spingarn. "KEEP ON PUSHIN"

Anonymous said...

Spingarn High School closed in 2012

Anonymous said...

Charles Young closed in the late 1990's the building sat empty until Tow Rivers Public Charter School leased it from DCPS in 2015. Phelps Vocational School closed around 2000 and was reopened in the mid 2000's as an architectural and engineering school with an enrollment of 230 longer teaching any of the subjects it did as a vocational school. Browne Junior High School was reconfigured to Browne Education Campus in 2008....serving pre-k to 8th grade....with an enrollment of one 350 students.

Kalimah Yusuf said...

I attended Charles Young in the late 70's til 86. It was a great school with some awesome teachera. The best oc which was my 5th grade teacher Mr. Gray, he believed in me and was an awesome teacher. I would love to let him know how special he was to us students, eapecially me . Tanya Bush.

Denise Davis James said...

I'm not sure if I published my comment previously so I'm trying it again. I lived in Carver Terrace on 21st Place and attended Charles Young beginning in Kindergarten from Sep 1961 and graduated 6th grade in Jun 1968. Mr Grigsby was my 4th grade teacher. He encouraged me to play violin which I continued through high school and in the DC Youth Orchestra Program. I also remember Mrs. Vanlandingham my 5th grade teacher. I had great teachers, great times.