CHB School Celebrates Namesake’s Birthday

CHB School Celebrates Namesake’s Birthday
Posted on 03/03/2022

Students and staff at the Charles H. Bullock School celebrated the 147th birthday of its namesake on March 2, complete with balloons, a birthday song during morning announcements, an interactive, educational slide show of Mr. Bullock’s accomplishments, the launching of a Week of Action, and an inaugural Logo Design Challenge celebrating changemakers.

Charles Harmon Bullock was a prominent leader in the African American YMCA movement in the early 20th Century. The son of former enslaved people, he became a teacher, a journalist, and served as the Washington Street YMCA's executive director from 1916 to 1935. Bullock School was built on the site of the Washington Street Y and opening in September 2010, the first new school in Montclair in nearly 80 years and the first building in the township to be named after an African American.

“We are honored to be called the Charles H. Bullock School,” said CHB Principal Nami Kuwabara. “Mr. Bullock was a leader who gave back to others throughout his life. He continues to be an inspiration to CHB students, their families, and our staff today.”

North Star plaque
The "North Star" plaque located at Bullock's front entrance.

For many, the Washington Street Y served as a place where children felt safe and protected. It has been described as a "Beacon of Light" and a "North Star" in the Black community of Montclair for providing a complete array of programs and services that improved the well-being of individuals, families and Montclair's African American Community as a whole.

Every CHB student and staff member received a star sticker as a reminder to be an inspiration for others just as Mr. Bullock was to the Montclair community.

In honor of Mr. Bullock, CHB is holding a Week of Action (March 2-14). In collaboration with Montclair Mutual Aid, founded in 2020 in response to emergency pandemic needs, students are holding a collection drive of soap, shampoo, toothpaste, cleaning supplies, and more, which will be donated to Montclair neighbors in need.

Also, through the inspiration of Mr. Bullock, the school is initiating the “CHB Changemakers” Logo Design Challenge. Students who choose to participate will design a school logo that represents what it means to be changemakers for our community, like Mr. Bullock was for his community. One submission will be chosen for a new CHB t-shirt.

1913 YMCA dedication

(Above) A new photo of Mr. Bullock at the 1913 dedication of the Senate Avenue, Indianapolis, Indiana, is now displayed in the CHB front hall. Pictured: Front Row (L-R): George Knox (publisher), Madam C.J. Walker (entrepreneur), Booker T. Washington (educator), Alexander Manning (newspaper editor), Charles H. Bullock (educator, journalist, YMCA official), Thomas Taylor (YMCA official). Back Row (L-R): Freeman Ransom (attorney), Dr. Joseph Ward (physician)

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