Poinciana Elementary School

Blanche Hearst Girtman

Poinciana Elementary School

Federal Hwy near 3rd Ave

In 1896, Robert E. Wells and other members of St. Paul AME Church asked the Dade County School Board to provide a black teacher for the community. On September 7th, 1896 the School Board sent a black teacher from West Palm Beach and established Boynton Elementary School. Originally, the school was a one room building on Federal Highway near 3rd Avenue. In 1925, due to segregation laws, the school was physically moved to Wells Avenue and the name of the school was changed to Boynton Colored Elementary.

Around 1925, a new Rosenwald School was built for the community on the corner of Seacrest Blvd. and NW 12th Ave. Rosenwald Schools were built primarily for the education of African-American children in the South in the early 20th century. The project was the product of a partnership between Julius Rosenwald, CEO of Sears, Roebuck and Company and the African American leader Booker T. Washington. From the 1910s to the early 1930s, over 5,000 Rosenwald Schools were built in the southern states.

The school took the form of the Three Teacher Plan as shown in the “Community School Plans” book. The Frame Vernacular style building had a stucco exterior, a gable roof, a front porch, and louvered vents. Internally, there were three classrooms and a community room. The school served grades one through eight until 1952 when the building could no longer handle the number of students. Six new classrooms were built for grades one through six, and the original building housed grades seven and eight.

After civil rights laws were passed in the 1960s, segregation was outlawed and the name was changed to Poinciana Elementary because of the many Poinciana trees at the school. The schoolhouse was demolished in 1960 and a new Poinciana Elementary was built.

Blanche Hearst Girtman Teacher at Poinciana Elementary SchoolBlanche Hearst Girtman Teacher at Poinciana Elementary School

Poinciana Elementary School After 1928 Hurricane (Fl Memory pr30259)Poinciana Elementary School After 1928 Hurricane (Fl Memory pr30259)

Three Teacher Community School PlanThree Teacher Community School Plan (Community School Plans, Bulletin No. 3)

3D Model: