November 8, 2017 – Approximately 85 BCSD students from Project Junior B.E.S.T. recently participated in a field trip to Allensworth State Historic Park. The field trip was coordinated by the Youth Services Specialists; Ruthie Gardner, David McCrary, Jason Thomas and James Tyson. Project Jr. B.E.S.T. is currently being implemented at the four Focus Schools: Emerson, Hills, McKinley and Munsey. Students are enrolled in the After School Program at each of the school sites and are involved in S.T.E.A.M. activities, homework assistance and extracurricular activities. They attend cultural capital field trips and colleges and universities in order to expose them to higher education.
The trip to Allensworth was one of those educational field trip opportunities. The town is named after former slave Colonel Allen Allensworth, who was in the Union Navy during the Civil War, but later became a chaplain, orator and town founder. In August 1908, Colonel Allensworth and a group of others founded Allensworth, a small city in Tulare County. They were dedicated to improving the economic and social status of African Americans. Allensworth was the only California town founded, financed and governed by African Americans. A yearly rededication ceremony reaffirms the vision of the pioneers. Historical buildings still exist to this day, and include a Library, Post Office, Barber Shop, and school. “Trips such as Allensworth helps build confidence and self-efficacy.” Lewis Neal, Youth Services Supervisor.