Reaching, teaching youth

Published 9:43 am Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Something we find to be remarkable is the work and history of The Charlotte County Cemetery Project of Virginia (CCCPV) and the initiative that is part of it — The Charlotte County Adopt-a-Cemetery Youth Members Project.

The CCCPV helps to clean up and maintain cemeteries in the county while also teaching its adult and youth members about the inscriptions on the tombstones.

When it comes to the youth members, Charlotte County Historical & Genealogical Society Founder Bea King said the project’s purpose is to give them “respect for cemeteries, to get people to adopt abandoned cemeteries. It also gets them outside, it gets them to meet new people, learn the symbols on graves. Plus at the end, after so many hours, we give them a certificate of completion. Plus, we give them recommendations for college. But they have to do so many hours.”

And many do put in the hours. Youth members typically accompany King to cemeteries on weekends throughout much of the year.

There are nine CCCPV youth members, hailing from a variety of counties.

The Adopt-a-Cemetery initiative, which involves cleaning up abandoned cemeteries, was started about seven years ago by then-9-year-old Brittany Austin.

Jessie Dunkley, a former youth and now adult member, said, “The cemetery project got me into genealogy.” She is now the secretary/treasurer of the historical and genealogical society.

We commend the project for engaging the youth, we praise the youth for their dedicated involvement and we applaud the public for its generous support at the project’s recent fundraiser.