Wee Wisdom School
Class Was Held In the Shipyard Apartments
Newport News, Virginia

  1953 Kindergarten Class (I think...) 1957 Anchor, p.191
Wee Wisdom Kindergarten Station Wagon with teacher and owner Mrs. Walker at the wheel FRONT ROW: ____, ____, Sandra Bateman ('65), ____, ____, ____, ____, ____, ____, ____, and Jo Dellafosse?..
MIDDLE ROW: ____, ____, ____, ____, ____, ____, Jim Brinkley ('65)?, ____, ____, and ____.
BACK ROW: ____, ____, ____, ____, ____, ____,  ____, ____, and _____.

Attached is a picture my mom had of either my kindergarten or first grade class at Wee Wisdom School,
which was located in the basement of the shipyard apartments.  I'm guessing it was taken sometime between 1952-54,
but I'm not sure.   As my mom didn't write any names on the back of the picture, I was hoping maybe some
of your readers might recognize themselves or their friends.  I'm the 3rd one from the left in the first row,
looking at the picture.  The girl in the front row on the far right looks like Jo Delafosse (not sure where she
graduated from, but was at NNHS with us in the 8th and 9th grade)  and the boy, 4th from the right in the middle
row looks a little like Jim Brinkley ('65 of IA).  Any help from anyone will be appreciated with this "project"! 
- Courtesy of Bill Campbell ('54) of VA - 12/10/05
Thanks, Bill!
- Courtesy of Sandi Bateman Chestnut ('65) of VA - 10/12/05
Thanks, Sandi!

Two links that are dear to me are the ones for Wee Wisdom Kindergarten and Marshall Courts. My father,
William F. Campbell, was one of the many men who migrated to NN from North Carolina in the early '40s
to work in the shipyard. We lived in Thomasville, NC, and, when my dad came to NN to apply for the job
as a machinist, he found that the pay would be more than he and my mother made together as workers
in the Amazon Cotton Mill in Thomasville. So, he took a job in the shipyard and applied for an apartment
in Marshall Courts, which was just being completed at the time.

We were one of the first families to move in, at 866 36th Street, on March 22, 1941. I am enclosing a clipping
from the March 15, 1941 Daily Press, which announced the opening of the government-subsidized project.
There were (still are) 10 apartments in each row of most of the 2-story apartments, but we were the only
occupants in the 860s row for a few days. The Peninsula Dairy, located on Jefferson Avenue between
35th and 36th Street, left complimentary quarts of milk on each of the 10 doorsteps, assuming that people
would be living in all of the units. Since no one else lived there but us, my brother and I thought that we lived
in the entire building, so we went and collected all 10 of the quarts of milk and brought them to my mother.
We were very upset to find out that only 1 quart belonged to us and that we would have to share the
building with 9 other families.

As you know, Marshall Courts was just one of the many projects that were built for the low-income families
who were brought here to work in the shipyard. So, one of the things that has perplexed me,  even today,  
is how my parents could have afforded to send me to Wee Wisdom Kindergarten when I was 5 years old.
No one in my family who would know the answer to this is alive, and I don't know how I could find this out
from anyone else. The teacher, and owner of the kindergarten, was Mrs. Walker, and she came around
to pick up several of us urchins in her woody station wagon with 'Wee Wisdom Kindergarten' emblazoned
on the doors. I am attaching a photo of that station wagon as it sits in the alley in front of our apartment,
with Mrs. Walker at the wheel. 

I don't know who was responsible for providing me the opportunity to attend Wee Wisdom, but I shall be
eternally grateful to whoever it was, because it enabled me to learn to read, do arithmetic, and socialize
with other kids, before I ever started to school. Because of that experience, I never felt intimidated
by anyone or any subject matter, and I was always able to stay 'a jump ahead' of the teachers. That
kindergarten was my 'Head Start'.

- Bill Campbell ('54) of VA - 12/10/05

WOWZERONI!  Thanks, Bill!

Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star

Twinkle, twinkle, little star.
How I wonder what you are.
Up above the world so high,
Like a diamond in the sky.
Twinkle, twinkle, little star.
How I wonder what you are.

(This page was created on 10/13/05.)

"The Alphabet Song - Twinkle Twinkle Little Star" midi courtesy of http://rosemck1.tripod.com/kids-corner.html 
at the suggestion of Dave Spriggs ('64) of VA - 10/13/05
Thanks, Dave!

"Twinkle Twinkle Little Star" lyrics courtesy of http://rosemck1.tripod.com/twinkle-twinkle-little-star.html
also at the suggestion of Dave Spriggs ('64) of VA - 10/13/05
Thanks again, Dave!

All Teddy Bear clip art courtesy of http://www.wtv-zone.com/nevr2l82/bars38.html - 10/13/05

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