• 2700 South Main Street


    Washington Magnet Elementary was named for Booker T. Washington (1856-1915), American educator and founder of the Tuskegee Institute. The original building opened in 1949; the present building opened in August 1989 as an incentive school. Washington became a magnet school in 1990 and offers magnet programs in math and science. It is an interdistrict school, serving students from all three school districts in Pulaski County. All students have weekly lessons in the school's math and science labs; math and science themes also are integrated throughout the curriculum. Many of the school's extracurricular activities also are centered around math and science themes (Young Astronaut Program, Astronomy Club, Math Club, etc.).

    Photo: National Park Service.

    Booker Taliaferro Washington was born April 5, 1856, on a plantation in Franklin County, Virginia. Following the Civil War, his family moved to Malden, West Virginia, where he worked in a salt furnace and in coal mines, attending school whenever he could. He attended a newly founded school for African-Americans, Hampton Normal and Agricultural Institute (now Hampton University). After graduation he taught for two years in Malden and then studied at Wayland Seminary in Washington, DC. In 1879 he became an instructor at Hampton Institute, where he helped to organize a night school and was in charge of the industrial training of 75 Native Americans. The school was so successful that in 1881 the founder of Hampton Institute appointed Washington the organizer and principal of a normal school in Tuskegee, Alabama, that eventually became known as the Tuskegee Institute. Washington made the institution into a major center for industrial and agricultural training. Washington became the chief spokesman for the African-American people, wrote several books (the most famous one his autobiography Up from Slavery) and became an advisor to two presidents. The site of the plantation where Washington was born now is a national monument.


    LRSD archives.
    Knowledgerush.com; Booker T. Washington page: www.knowledgerush.com/kr/jsp/db/author.jsp?authorId=225&authorName=Booke...
    National Park Service; Booker T. Washington National Monument web site

    If you have information about a Little Rock school or photographs that you would like to contribute to this project (we will return photographs if requested), please contact us!