Our History and Our Future
In the early 1920s, fire destroyed a small wooden schoolhouse in the Mock Circle area of Davidson, North Carolina. Despite the difficult economic times, the school's principal, Miss Ada Jenkins, with the help of other community members, raised the funds to build the brick schoolhouse that is now the main building of The Ada Jenkins Center. The school, then named the "Davidson Colored School," opened in 1937.
In 1966, when the schools in Davidson were integrated, the school was closed and the students transferred to Davidson Elementary School and the Torrence Lytle High School in Huntersville. Under a Title 1 program, the school reopened as the Davidson Child Development Center in 1967.
In the 70s, 80s, and early 90s, the building served as a community center, with various educational and human services, including a food co-op, a dance studio, and an after school program. In 1995, members of the community gathered together and volunteered to renovate the building and establish The Ada Jenkins Center in its current form. The grand opening was held on November 8, 1998, with Ada Jenkins' daughter and granddaughter in attendance.
Since then, The Center has grown rapidly to become a well-respected model for community centers in the region, broadening its services to the entire Lake Norman region. Recently, the Duke University School of Divinity recognized The Ada Jenkins Center as a "Model Organization for Building Communities of Caring."
Who We Are Today
Today, The Ada Jenkins Center houses 21 programs and has 17 members on its Board of Directors. This dynamic and enthusiastic group volunteers its time and efforts, always keeping the mission and focus of The Ada Jenkins Center at the forefront.