Zora Martin Felton

Museum Award

For Zora Martin Felton, working in a museum has not only been a career, it's been an adventure. The Northwest Washington resident has spent most of her life sharing history and culture with residents of and visitors to the District.

For almost 30 years, Felton was assistant director of the Smithsonian Institution's Anacostia Museum and Center for African American History and Culture. Although she retired five years ago, Felton still volunteers frequently and is helping to create a Family Learning Center for the museum. She was recently recognized for her contributions to museums with the Katherine Coffee Award.

"Zora Felton's work helped to establish museum educational excellence in Washington through her work at the Anacostia Museum," said Coffee Award committee member Mary Alexander. Felton was presented a certificate.

One of the exhibits that Felton remembers most was entitled "The Rat: Man's Invited Affliction." The exhibit, which she curated several years ago, displayed the effects of the Norway rat. The rodent has caused many problems for the Anacostia community.

"I try to encourage participation by all people--children as well as adults," Felton said. Many of her displays would educate the community on the issues that affect them.

She also has helped to create a nature trail and a mobile division for the museum, which takes exhibits and artifacts to schools. "Children would design and produce their own exhibits," Felton said. "I think they learned a lot from the museum experience."

Felton first became involved with museums after working for the Southeast Neighborhood House, a settlement house that has since closed. The Smithsonian Institution approached her and asked her to survey community residents and leaders to find out whether they were interested in a neighborhood museum that focused on black history and culture. The Anacostia Museum is the result, and under the direction of John Kinard the museum flourished. It has addressed such issues as unemployment, recreation, education, drugs and health in its mission to stay connected with the community.

The museum is undergoing a $6 million renovation and is being housed at the Smithsonian's Arts and Industries Building on the Mall.

Irasemo Salcido

National Caring Award

Irasemo Salcido, of Rockville, was honored by the Caring Institute last month with its National Caring Award for dedication to helping others.

The organization, which is dedicated to honoring and promoting the values of caring, integrity and public service, is recognizing Salcido and six others from across the country who have devoted their lives to serving the less fortunate.

Salcido, the daughter of Mexican immigrant farm workers, is the founder of Cesar Chavez High School for Public Policy, a charter school in Northwest Washington. The winners were presented trophies at an awards ceremony.

Children's Defense Fund Awards

Katherine Haynes and Marvel Norwood were honored by the Children's Defense Fund with its Beat the Odds Award. Mayor Anthony A. Williams and U.S. Labor Secretary Alexis M. Herman helped salute the students, who have endured and survived great hardships.

Haynes, a senior at Benjamin Banneker High School whose family life has been devastated by the effects of alcohol, has moved to a group home after losing her parents. She is rebuilding her life and plans to major in pre-veterinary medicine at North Carolina A&T University.

Norwood is a Dunbar High School senior whose mother was shot and paralyzed. He is ranked fourth in his class, is a member of the Junior ROTC program and plans to study computer engineering at Virginia Technical University.

Angela Michele Tilghman

Distinguished Principal's Award

The National Distinguished Principal's Award, which is sponsored by the National Association of Elementary School Principals and the U.S. Department of Education, has been presented to Angela Michele Tilghman. The principal of Myrtilla Miner Elementary School in Northeast Washington is among 59 elementary and middle school principals from across the country chosen for their exceptional school leadership.

Tilghman, of Northeast Washington, has worked to build parent-school relationships and to improve the quality of education for her students by providing faculty with development courses and training. Tilghman received a large brass bell and a certificate.

Joseph E. Harris

Mellon Foundation Grant

The Andrew Mellon Foundation awarded Howard University history Prof. Joseph E. Harris a $240,000 grant for a research, documentation and training project on African American-South African relationships. The project is expected to document the presence and influence of Africans, who despite the racial restrictions that have been placed upon them, participated in transnational relations that have affected the development of their country.


The 1999 International Education Award has been presented to the District of Columbia Public Schools. The award, sponsored by the Council of Chief State School Officers, recognizes a council member that has made the most significant progress in providing international education experiences for its students.

School Superintendent Arlene Ackerman was recognized for promoting an international focus for students and teachers through internships and partnerships with service groups such as the United Nations and the World Affairs Council. The school system received a $10,000 grant that will be used to further international initiatives.

If you know someone who has received an honor or award for community service, academic achievement, a heroic act of other activities, send us the news to:


The District Weekly

The Washington Post

1150 15th St. NW

Washington, DC 20071

Include the full name and address of the recipient the type of honor or award, who presented it and day and evening telephone numbers of the recipient. The column will run the fourth Thursday of each month.

CAPTION: Zora Martin Felton is helping to create a Family Learning Center for the Anacostia Museum and Center for African American History and Culture.