J.C. Price School was valuable to Warnersville for numerous reasons, the primary reason being the quality of education the children received from the institution. From 1922 until 1971, the system of “Separate but Equal” was in effect, meaning that racial segregation of schools was legal as long as both the white and black schools were equal to one another. This system failed to live up to its name. Schools were certainly separate, but they were far from equal. Even within the black schools in Greensboro, Price was seen as the most underfunded. Because Price had less resources, students from Lincoln and Gillespie often mocked and teased the Price students and teams. There was, indeed, a lack of funds for the school. J.C. Price students often used text books that were over a decade old, which they only received when the nearby white schools purchased new editions of the text and thus could hand down their older books.
Howard Griffin – 20 seconds
Even with these second hand materials, the teachers of J.C. Price were able to provide a first rate education. In 1946, the Educational Policies Commission of the National Education Association from Washington, D.C. was touring elementary schools across the nation, looking for innovative and effective teaching methods. J.C. Price was the only school in North Carolina at which they stopped. This tradition of effective teaching continued at J.C. Price for decades.
The school’s staff also provided the students with positive role models. Many students looked up to both Mr. Peeler and the faculty. All students were required to follow an acrostic code of ethics (in which the first letter of each line of the code spelled J.C. Price). Click here to see the J.C. Price School Code of Ethics, courtesy of the Greensboro Historical Museum.
Most of the teachers were a significant part of the Warnersville community, either living in the neighborhood or attending church there. The students and their parents would see the teachers outside of school. This level of interaction helped build relationships that surpassed the simple Teacher-Student model. To help foster this bond, the teachers were required to visit each of their students’ homes twice a year. This was not only for the benefit of the students and their parents, but also for the teacher, as they would learn about their students’ home lives.
Spencer Gwynn – 1 minute 15 seconds
J.C. Price was also noted for its extensive library, to which all students had access. The library provided the children with extra materials to further their education, and it helped promote good reading habits.
Christine Good – 14 seconds
The school also offered many extracurricular activities in which the students could become involved. These activities included the football team, the radio broadcast group, the school band, after school tutoring programs, science fair clubs, the basketball team, cheerleaders, dance teams and a photography club. These activities provided fun and excitement for both the students and the community. The Warnersville community would often come out to watch the marching band perform and to see sporting events. The school's band was a source of great pride within the community. Shelton Williams, the band's director in 1959-60, was able to convince the city to allow the band to perform in the Christmas parade, not an easy task in the era of segregation.
Mr. Durwood Bell (audio only) – 3 minutes, 23 seconds
Courtesy of the Greensboro Historical Museum
Price band playing near the school.