A piece of Ancona School’s early history

To the Editor:

In your recent article about the 50th anniversary of the Ancona School, I saw no mention of some important facts, especially the origin of the student scholarships.

Next door to the Ancona School on 48th Street and Dorchester Avenue was a tenement filled with numerous single mothers of rowdy children. The latter filled the outside of the school with graffiti and harassed the Ancona children. A music professor at the University of Chicago wrote a grant request to the government. Ancona was the only private school in the United States to receive Head Start funds.

The board of directors decided to use the money for a scholarship fund and used it for five or six children in the tenement. The graffiti and the harassment stopped. The mothers next door, who didn’t know each other, got together and had a rent strike. Two of them were chosen to become teacher’s aides, and peace and tranquility reigned!

Dr. Herbert Lerner