Miami, FL – The Upsilon Alpha Zeta Chapter of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. will present Lenora Braynon Smith Elementary in Liberty City with two commemorative portraits and plaques to honor the school’s namesake at an Honor Roll Student Assembly on Jan. 24, 2017 at 10:00am at the school’s media center. To jumpstart Black History Month, students, faculty staff, and district representatives including School Board Member Dr. Dorothy Bendross-Mindingall (D-2) will gather along with members of Zeta Phi Beta for a program focused on the legacy of Smith. Students will present historical facts and speeches on the importance of academic excellence, which will be followed by a portrait presentation.
Smith, a member of Zeta Phi Beta, was awarded Florida’s coveted Teacher of the Year designation in 1970, becoming the first African American woman to earn the top prize. Formerly known as Allapattah Elementary, Lenora Braynon Smith Elementary was renamed in her honor in 2003. Smith was a trailblazing teacher in Miami-Dade County and served as Principal for two elementary schools in the area prior to her retirement in 1991. Through the portrait unveiling and student displays, the legacy and contributions of Smith will be on exhibit at the school that carries her name and so much of her history. Smith grew up in the surrounding area and walked the same streets as the children that attend the elementary school today. Ironically, the school was initially segregated for White students only, which caused Smith and her family to move from the area as noted in her Teacher of the Year booklet biography.
Through Zeta’s Helping Other People Excel (Z-HOPE), the sorority’s flagship service program, the Upsilon Alpha Zeta Chapter adopted Lenora Braynon Smith Elementary School as part of the Adopt-A-School initiative. The chapter helps to provide resources for the students and staff during the year through school supply drives, student engagement activities and donations to the school’s positive behavior store. “We want the students at Lenora Braynon Smith Elementary to know who Lenora is and how passionate she is about their success,” said Francine Williams, Z-HOPE coordinator of Upsilon Alpha Zeta who spearheaded the event. Smith resides in Liberty City and recently celebrated her 89th birthday.
Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. was founded in 1920 by five co-ed students at Howard University that envisioned a sorority that would promote the highest standard of scholastic achievement and Finer Womanhood. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. has a diverse membership of more than 120,000 college-educated women with over 800 chapters in North America, Europe, Asia, The Caribbean, Africa and the Middle East. For more information about Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. visit www.zphib1920.org
Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc.
Address: Post Office Box 245326, Pembroke Pines, Florida 33024
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