Fosters.com Seacoastonline April 3, 2019
SOUTH BERWICK, Maine — An educator from Tuskegee, Alabama, with a personal history in the civil rights movement will make his second trip to the Marshwood school system in May as part of the ongoing relationship between South Berwick and Tuskegee.Guy Trammell Jr., who spoke to elementary students in South Berwick a year ago, will be back May 6-10 to work with students in each of the five schools in the Marshwood district. His week-long residency in local schools is being funded by a grant from the Marshwood Education Foundation.
“Mr. Trammell’s visit to the Marshwood schools will let our children learn about the civil rights movement in a way that books could never accomplish,” said Heidi Early-Hersey, director of teaching and learning for the school district. “Thanks to this grant from the MEF, they will hear about the movement from someone who was there as it was happening and whose life was affected by it in a very different way than their own.”
Parents and other members of the community will be invited to meet Trammell and hear about his visits with Marshwood students and his involvement in the sister city at an event 7 p.m. Wednesday, May 8 at Marshwood High School. Each day of the week he will be in a different school doing presentations, reading to students or holding discussions appropriate to the age group, Early-Hersey said.
“Guy’s ability to reach kids, and to talk to them about sensitive topics like our nation’s racial history, was evident when he made the visit last year” said Jerry Burnell, Great Works School principal. “His visit this year will let students learn even more about what the Civil Rights movement means to the people who are most directly affected.”
Trammell, who works with at-risk youth in Tuskegee, will be staying at the home of Great Works librarian Cindy Moloney.
Trammell’s visit is the latest outcome of Common Ground: the Tuskegee-South Berwick Sister City project, which is the first domestic sister city relationship in the country. It was formed in late 2017 when South Berwick residents, looking for ways to address the nation’s race-related challenges, approached officials in Tuskegee. Both municipal councils unanimously supported the relationship.
The mission of the project “is to afford the opportunity for the citizens of two communities, one predominately black and the other predominately white, to talk with each other, listen to each other and share with each other with the goal of broadening understanding between people.”
A delegation of nine people from South Berwick, including educators, spent three days in December 2017 visiting Tuskegee schools, restaurants, churches and landmarks. In May 2018, nine Tuskegee residents, including Trammell and Mayor Lawrence “Tony” Haygood, came to South Berwick.
Trammell, a graduate of Antioch College in Ohio, grew up mainly in Tuskegee, where he saw first hand the need for, as well as the violence that resulted from the Civil Rights movement.
Trammel also co-writes a column with Amy Miller of South Berwick, called Color Us Connected, that runs every other week in both “Foster’s Daily Democrat” and “The Tuskegee News.”