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Rosenwald School building gets upgrade, thanks to Shell

DONALDSONVILLE – Shell has presented a $300,000 grant to the River Road African American Museum (RRAAM) in Donaldsonville, to support the restoration of the Museum’s historic Rosenwald School building. When completed, the structure will house the RRAAM Rosenwald School for Education, Culture and History, which will provide a modern space for museum visitors and school groups to explore the important role of African Americans in the region’s history. The facility will also enhance the museum’s ability to provide science, technology, engineering, art and math (STEAM) programming, healthy eating/ healthy living seminars and culture and history events, in addition to serving as a center for genealogical research.

“The River Road African American Museum is truly excited about the gift Shell is contributing to our work,” said Todd L. Sterling, RRAAM’s Board President. “Many children, members of the community, and patrons from around the world, will be the beneficiary of the programming and events that the Rosenwald School for Education, Culture and History will execute once the building is renovated and available for use.”

The opening of the RRAAM’s Rosenwald School is planned for summer 2021.

The RRAAM Rosenwald School building is one of only a few remaining in the region, originally serving as an educational facility for African American children in St. James Parish in the early 1930s. It was moved to Donaldsonville in 2001 in an effort to save the building from demolition. The building, located at 511 Williams St., is being renovated and historically restored to become part of the Museum’s growing campus in downtown Donaldsonville.

“Shell’s relationship with the River Road African American Museum goes back more than 20 years,” said Rhoman Hardy, Shell Vice President U.S. Gulf Coast. “The Rosenwald School will bring new resources and opportunity to our region while assisting the Museum in advancing its mission; one we believe deeply in. This partnership echoes Shell’s commitment to diversity and inclusion both with our employees and in the communities in which we operate.”

The opening of the RRAAM’s Rosenwald School is planned for summer 2021.

For more information about the River Road African American Museum, visit www.africanamericanmuseum.org.