2017 4th Grade Art & Essay Contest at George Washington Carver Monument

DIAMOND, Mo. — The George Washington Carver National Monument is accepting fourth-grade art and essay contest submissions until Feb. 17.

This year’s theme is built on a quote that is attributed to Carver: “My work is that of conservation, the saving of things that the average person throws away.”

The annual contest is a way for the monument to encourage fourth-graders to research Carver’s life.

This year, the national monument installed a new exhibit on Carver, recycling, conservation and sustainability. This exhibit is where the idea for this year’s theme stemmed.

“Sustainability is a huge emphasis here,” said Diane Eilenstein, park ranger. “We work really hard at that, and that is very much like George Washington Carver.”

Carver formed his first lab from items he found in the trash, Eilenstein said. He used broken bottles, old tin cans and other disregarded items to make his lab at the Tuskegee Institute.

“He was very creative, resourceful and frugal,” Eilenstein said. “Even when he had money to spend, he was very careful and was always finding new uses for old things.”

The monument partners with the Missouri Southern State University Department of Teacher Education and the Carver Birthplace Association to make the event possible. Both provide volunteers who help set up the artwork and essays as well as judge the pieces.

“We all work together, and for the (fourth-grade) teachers to justify taking the time out to do something extra like this, we have to make sure it’s curriculum-based,” Eilenstein said. “It’s an extremely valuable program for kids to participate in.”

A researched-based rubric is used to score essays, and future elementary art teachers judge the artwork. Eilenstein said many teachers have their students work on the art and essays during English and art classes.

“It’s just a whole lot of fun and helps the students learn more about Mr. Carver,” Eilenstein said.

Park rangers are available to speak to classes about Carver and this year’s theme.

“The volunteers encourage the children to just work a little harder,” Eilenstein said. “What’s it going to take to make your essay the one that rises above the rest?”

First-place winners of both categories receive a trophy and a gift certificate to spend in the bookstore at the monument. Second- and third-place winners, along with the most creative classroom of both categories, will receive trophies and certificates.

Every Kid in a Park

Any fourth-grader who attends the awards ceremony for the art and essay contest at 2 p.m. Saturday, March 25, in the visitor’s center of the George Washington Carver National Monument will receive a plastic Every Kid in a Park Pass.

Carver Commemorative Dinner reservations extended

The date for reserving your place at the George Washington Carver Commemorative Dinner has been extended to Thursday, January 5th.  If you have not already made your reservation, please call Ann McCormick at 417 325-4151 Ext. 276 or 417 438-3351.

Carver Birthplace Association Annual Meeting Minutes

Dear Carver Birthplace Association Members,

For those that could not attend the the 2016-17 Annual Meeting, I have attached the minutes for your information


If you are not a current member, and would like information on joining, and/or the benefits of membership:

Call Executive Director, Ann McCormick.

417 325-4151  Ext. 276

Membership Application is on the website, also.

Unveiling of Wayside Exhibits at Neosho 1872 Colored Schoolhouse


Two exhibits added at Carver schoolhouse

More preservation work on building still to be done


NEOSHO, Mo. — George Washington Carver enthusiasts gathered Tuesday at the Carver schoolhouse, 639 Young St. in Neosho, for the unveiling of two exhibits.

“It’s just a way of further connecting people to what is a very important resource,” said Jim Heaney, superintendent of George Washington Carver National Monument. “Not just because of Carver’s connection, but also because of the period that it served as a black school.”

The two exhibits are located on either side of the schoolhouse and contain historical, educational information about Carver’s struggle to find education and the family Carver stayed with in Neosho to keep from walking 9 miles to school every day.

“You can actually see something and learn a little bit in addition to enjoying the resource,” Heaney said.

The two exhibits cost approximately $5,000 in total.

The exhibits were made several years ago, along with some that were put up at the George Washington Carver National Monument. “We were just looking for a good time to unveil them,” Heaney said.

The schoolhouse opened in 1872, but Carver did not attend school there until approximately 1876. The school was rediscovered about 12 years ago when a bank was foreclosing on the house. The plan was to demolish it, but the George Washington Carver Birthplace Association stepped in to save the structure.

Since then, “they have been working with the National Park Service to try to restore the building and to get it on the National Register of Historic Places and give it the attention and recognition that it deserves,” Heaney said.

This summer, a national organization that helps preserve historic buildings, HistoriCorps, traveled to Neosho to restore the exterior of the building to its original appearance.

“It’s come a long way, but there’s still a lot to do,” Heaney said. There is still a lot of work to do to remodel the interior of the building, but Heaney hopes to have the entire structure completed and open for visitors by 2022, which is the 150th anniversary of the opening of the school.

“It’s very much a work in progress,” Heaney added. “It’s not going to happen overnight, but we do hope to finish it in the next couple of years.”

Thanks to the Joplin Globe for allowing the reprint of this article.

Carver National Monument is the Midwest Region’s featured park for the 2017 Passport Stamp program!




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Make your Reservations for the 2017 George Washington Carver Commemorative Dinner

Each year, the  Carver Birthplace Association holds a dinner commemorating the life and legacy of Dr. George Washington Carver.  The 2017 George Washington Carver Commemorative Dinner will be held at Crowder College, Neosho, MO., in the Farber Center on Saturday, January 7th, 2017.  January 5th, 2017 will be the 74th anniversary of Dr. Carver’s death.

Funds from this dinner are used to sponsor the yearly $1,000 Scholarship given in Dr. Carver’s honor.  Each year we give the scholarship to a deserving young person that meets the criteria set forth by CBA.  The application, which includes the scholarship criteria, will be posted online.

Please plan to attend and help us celebrate the life of Dr. George Washington Carver.  Agenda and speakers will be announced and posted to FB and the CBA website: www.carverbirthplaceassoc.org.  For more information please call:  Executive Director, Ann McCormick at 417 325-4151 Ext. 276

Your tax deductible donations to the Scholarship fund are very much appreciated.

George Washington Carver Dinner


“Celebrating and Promoting the Legacy of Dr. George Washington Carver:
In the Spirit of Discovery, Sustainability, and Humanity”
Tuesday, September 20, 2016
6:30- 9:30 PM
Keynote Speaker; Dr. Sherri Brown, Vice President, Science
Strategy, Monsanto Company
Knight Executive Education and Conference Center
Washington University in St. Louis, MO
For more information and tickets Call: (314) 610-5796

Dr. George Washington Carver
In his January, 2016 State of the Union Address to the US Congress, President Obama cited Dr. George Washington Carver, along with Thomas Edison and the Wright brothers, as nationally (and even internationally) exemplars of the “spirit of discovery”! As a contextual umbrella, the spirit of discovery connotes novel innovations that served to promote improvements in the economic and social conditions of the US and the world. Moreover, the spirit of discovery, framed in the context of human development and education, is equally applicable to efforts undertaken by a young person to discover one’s talents, attributes and passions, as was the case of         Dr. Carver. His many novel accomplishments have been acknowledged as evidenced by Carver- named university and federal government buildings, a national monument, designated higher education academic programs, K-12 schools, museums and more. Yet, consistent with Dr. Carver’s observation that “we are in a pitiful condition today”(1), even a scant overview of the growing national divides; the plethora of international crises; the major increases in global population growth against rapidly expanding negatives bearing on the environment, its sustainability; critical issues such as water availability, food production and security, and extreme and sustained poverty; emerging agricultural and food workforce needs often obligating interdisciplinary education and practice; and constrained access to a quality education for many learners, in the aggregate, critically argue for judicious employment of the powerful lessons of Carver! Thus, the pressing tasks are to both clearly understand his lessons and effectively convey them – as guides for a life of significance and service to present and future generations of learners!
Objective of Annual Fundraising Dinner is to:

a) Celebrate the powerful legacy of Dr. George Washington Carver, who was not only a scientist and inventor, but an artist, musician, and liberally educated professional;

b) Recognize a much revered African American who, although born in slavery, possessed extraordinary psychological resiliency, multifaceted and brilliantly expressed talents, a steely capacity with which to effectively and purposefully respond to invidious soul-distorting characterizations of his being;

c) Promote better understanding of the lasting impacts of his many pioneering, innovative and novel accomplishments realized under decidedly adverse local, regional and national circumstances; as well as his demonstrable and remarkable ability to invoke new and necessary personal and shared identities that afforded him protection – at a very early age – against the social death required by the ethics and politics of enslavement, as well as the perverse influences of poverty that obtained throughout most of his childhood and even young adulthood; and

d) Then, purposefully, broadly, and sustainably employ his remarkable essence as a powerful example of the spirit of discovery , sustainability and exemplar personal and professional attributes to the decided benefit of present and future generations, especially youthful learner, through programming of the rehabilitated Neosho School attended by Dr. Carver and the affiliated interpretation and education center.
Thus, to enable us to reach the aforementioned objectives of the annual fundraising dinner, the net proceeds from this evening’s event will be assigned to the Neosho Schoolhouse Project and to the annual CBA student scholarship fund.