SCHOOL HISTORY – Graves County once was home to some 112 schools. “The Chalk Dust Project” was an initiative in the Graves County School District to chronicle the history of its schools. Interested individuals who had information concerning past and current schools were encouraged to attend community meetings throughout Graves County scheduled over a few weeks span. Debbie Smith and Kim Wheeler spearheaded the project.
“Did You Know there was a school called ‘Seven Sticks’ in the northern part of Graves County between Pottsville and Kansas? Did you know that in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s there were 112 Graves County Schools?” asks Debbie Smith, a former district Gifted and Talented teacher/coordinator. She and Mayfield-Graves County Community Education director Kim Wheeler spearheaded “The Chalk Dust Project: A History of Graves County Schools.” The two asked interested individuals with knowledge of current and former schools in the county to share their memories, photographs, and the like so that student-writers could record that history while it is still available. “We are looking for information that dates back to the earliest schools in the county to today’s consolidation and new building programs. Our ultimate goal is to have a book, which would be available to the community, of pictures and student-written stories about the schools,” Wheeler said. “All interested individuals are invited to attend a meeting at one of the local community schools or at a central campus where they can come and talk with students, teachers, and others about information these folks may have,” Wheeler continued. “We need pictures, stories, memorabilia, and contact names of others who may have more information.”
“We’ve already had tremendous interest expressed from people who have heard about our project and we hope to continue along those lines,” Smith concluded. “The more people who can attend our upcoming community meetings, the more comprehensive we can make this history of the Graves County Schools.”