“We [present this program] to inform the kids. We try to do a character trait each year,” said Noble Hill-Wheeler Memorial Center Curator Marian Coleman. “This year, it will be tolerance because today, most of our kids ... [interact with] people of other cultures that have moved here to America. [So] our classrooms are more diverse than they were.
“[During the Summer Heritage Program], we’re going to try to take imaginary trips to [two] different countries [and Africa]. ... We [will] compare their culture. And we thought it would be fun if we talked about their dress and compared their dress to ours, their food — the types of food that they eat. ... We just want to bring this out and talk about the differences and how it’s OK to be different,” she said, adding the program — featuring the theme “Different is Good” — also will consist of hands-on activities, such as songs, food tasting and games.
Starting June 4, the Summer Heritage Program will be presented free of charge to youth 5 to 14 each Wednesday through June 25 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Along with the educational offering, the program also will feature complimentary food through the Summer Feeding Program administered by Cartersville City Schools. For participants ages 1 to 18 to receive food at 12:30 p.m., they do not have to attend the Summer Heritage Program.
Now serving as a cultural museum, the building — originally named Cassville Colored School and later referred to as the Noble Hill School — provided instruction for black children in the first through seventh grades from 1923 to the mid-1950s.
Known as the first Rosenwald School in northwest Georgia, Noble Hill cost $2,036.35 to construct. The Rosenwald Fund contributed $700, with the remainder raised by the Cassville community. Built in 1923, the school stayed in operation until the educational site was consolidated into Bartow Elementary School in 1955.
After sitting vacant for more than 25 years, the building at 2361 Joe Frank Harris Parkway in Cassville was transformed into its present state with the help of state grants, private donations and fundraisers. Now known as Noble Hill-Wheeler Memorial Center, the venue serves as a cultural museum that reveals what life and education was like for black residents during the early to mid-1900s.
“Noble Hill is an educational foundation,” said Louise Young Harris, president of Noble Hill-Wheeler Memorial Center Foundation’s board of directors. “It’s an old school that dates back to the early [1900s] ... and it stands for education. Dr. Susie Wheeler — one of the founders of the center itself — stood for education being that she worked for the Bartow County School System. ... I feel like it is very important because education is essential in all of our lives. There is no way that you can operate in this world if you are not educated.
“The summer program that Noble Hill is putting together and sharing with the children is most vital. ... They do have retired educators and some educators that are still in the system that volunteer their time and also individuals that work in the business sector that come and volunteer to share with the children and to enlighten the children that education is important and it is a must for their lives for them to be successful in this world.”
For more information, call Noble Hill-Wheeler Memorial Center at 770-382-3392. While pre-registration is not required for the Summer Heritage Program, adults need to contact the center at least a day in advance for their children to partake in the feeding component.