SPECIAL TO THE DAYTONA TIMES
The Chi Delta Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority and community volunteers commemorated the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. with a day of service revitalizing the St. Paul’s Youth Center (formerly known as the All Kids Are First Old Schoolhouse) in Espanola.
Sorority members and volunteers from Jacksonville to Orlando assisted with interior and exterior painting, cleaning, sorting and arranging of donated books, planting of flowers and the planting of a vegetable garden.
Assistant Director Mark Noel and the Rev. Frank Giddens of Espanola’s St. Paul Missionary Baptist Church welcomed the volunteers as local youth reveled with excitement while assisting with the renovation.
The youth center serves as a historic landmark for the small town of Espanola as it was the first Black schoolhouse in Flagler County erected in 1950.
During the time when segregation was rampant, the schoolhouse allowed Espanola’s Black students the opportunity to achieve an education. Giddens played a pivotal role with re-establishing the old schoolhouse and reopening the doors to the neighborhood youth ages 8 to 17 to establish camaraderie and positive reinforcement.
Today, the facility serves as a learning facility for area youth. Homework, reading, writing and socialization skills are just a few of the initiatives administered at the St Paul’s Youth Center.