What began as a lofty dream almost 20 years ago, with a small group of people starting a grass roots initiative to revive and restore the original Kennard High School and create a community center, has been realized with the creation and opening of Kennard African American Cultural Heritage Center (KAACHC). This center has become the hub for African American History programs and events, while showcasing the exhibits of its African American History Museum.
Our research has shown us that there is a fundamental need, especially in the upper county area, for after school programs targeting the “underserved” population of Queen Anne’s County. This need especially impacts the African American and lower income population that cannot afford private enterprise programs for after school care, tutoring, cultural arts, and advance training skills.
The Kennard African American Cultural Heritage Center (KAACHC) is poised to become a tremendous asset to the citizens of Queen Anne’s County by providing educational and cultural learning opportunities. The center also provides an additional community meeting place, of which there are too few, and is immediately available for event and meeting rentals.
The KAACHC is committed to its mission of providing these resources to all, especially the minority and low-income populations of our community. We seek to offer scholarship assistance whenever possible so that everyone will have the opportunity to reach their fullest potential.
We are currently offering an after school mentoring program for middle school students, an exercise and aerobics class, and are hosting a Youth Special Needs summer camp.
It is our hope to, over the next year, offer programs in adult literacy, Spanish/English immersion, dance/music, and STEM (science, technology, engineering and math), as well as expanded Summer Camp opportunities. With the addition of an Executive Director and expanded volunteer staff, it is our plan to be able to open our recreation room to local youth daily, and to provide tutoring assistance and heritage center sponsored outings. (For current hours & availability, visit our Contact page.) These efforts will further the opportunity for our target population to advance educationally, culturally, and economically. If you want to be a part of these efforts in our community, we would encourage you to get involved by joining the KAA, volunteering, or donating to support our goals.
The center is also home to the Kennard Alumni Association, Inc., which manages the center’s programs and fund-raising initiatives. Annual events include Black History Month programs, a Juneteenth Celebration, an annual Dinner Dance Gala, and more. The association continues to provide annual scholarship funding to local African American high school graduates.
We are confident that the KAACHC will have a far-reaching impact over time by helping to forge relationships that will last for lifetimes, all the while staying true to the heritage and history of those that helped to shape the future of this great county.
These programs will not only benefit those that the heritage center will serve, but also those that support its mission—and for that we say, “Thank You!”