In 1958, Jackie Robinson, ambassador of the NAACP, came to LREI with Herbert Wright, Youth Leader of the NAACP, to accept a check from EI students, funds raised to support their efforts in the fight for racial justice and to grant EI a lifetime membership.
The student body at the Elisabeth Irwin High School, 40 Charlton St., answered Little Rock with dollars and sense Thursday morning when they presented a $1,034.34 check to Jackie Robinson for the NAACP to use “to implement school integration.”
The amount represented a NAACP life membership for the Elisabeth Irwin High School and a junior life membership for its elementary division, The Little Red School House. Pupils raised the money by sponsoring a benefit variety show, February 23 at the Pythian Theater.
Sixth grader, Jason Hammond, NAACP junior life member and son of John Henry Hammond, NAACP trustee, presented the check to Jackie, a board member, and Herbert Wright, NAACP youth secretary.
Robinson, in turn gave a junior life membership certificate to Jason who is the first child to be enrolled in the NAACP junior life membership established last summer. Robinson, who recently completed a tour of the South, told students southern writers blow up every northern incident and blame it on integration.
“What you are contributing to the NAACP here today will not be publicized in the South,” Robinson said.
Kent Smith, vice president of the Student Council speaking for the student body told Robinson, “We feel that this is the time when the youth of the nation must unite to eradicate injustices being done to millions of Americans.”
Dr. Randolph B. Smith, director of the school, joined students in saluting the NAACP.
—New York Amsterdam News, Saturday, March 15, 1958