Skip to main content

Rosalind (Silverman) Andrews Papers

 Collection — Box: 1
Identifier: SCA-0060

Scope and Content Note

The Rosalind Andrews Collection documents her experience as a volunteer teacher with the Student Help Project in Farmville, Virginia, through manuscript, print, near-print, and photographic materials. Included are personal correspondence, letters from students, letters of support, and newspaper clippings as well as an example of classroom work, a flier, and a photograph. The collection provides a personal perspective on the work of the volunteer teachers and demonstrates the impact they had on the students of Farmville.


  • 1963-1964



Collection is open for research. Staff may restrict access at its discretion on the basis of physical condition.

Historical Note

In 1954, the United States Supreme Court ruled in Brown v. Board of Education that state laws permitting racial segregation in public schools were unconstitutional. The court ordered the immediate integration of all public schools, ending the nearly 60-year old practice of providing so-called “separate but equal” facilities for students of different races.

In some areas of the country, however, court-ordered school integration was met with such strong resistance at the state and local government levels (as well as among elements of the white population) that the process of desegregating public schools was neither swift nor universal.

To circumvent complying with the new law of the land, Virginia adopted a policy known as “Massive Resistance,” under which the state legislature passed a series of laws that permitted the outright closure of its public schools. Among the provisions were measures that abolished mandatory school attendance for students and established a system of state-funded tuition grants that enabled white families to afford to send their children to newly-founded private schools that practiced segregation.

In 1959, the officials of Prince Edward County, Virginia, took the unprecedented step of stopping all funding for public education, effectively closing the public schools in the county rather than desegregate them. The schools remained locked until 1964. While the families of white students were able to send their children to the new private “segregation academies,” the families of the 1,700 African-American students and less affluent white families had few options for formal schooling.

The Virginia Student Help Project was founded by students and faculty in 1963 at Queens College as an offshoot of the established Jamaica Student Help Project, which provided tutoring services to students in Jamaica, New York. Under the direction of faculty members Dr. Rachel Weddington and Dr. Sidney Simon, 16 Queens College undergraduates (along with a separate group of veteran New York City school teachers) spent six weeks in Farmville, the seat of Prince Edward County, providing instruction to all who were being denied access to public education.

Biographical Note

Rosalind Andrews (then Rosalind Silverman) was born in 1943 and grew up in Jackson Heights, Queens. She graduated from Bryant High School and in 1960 started attending Queens College night classes while working during the day. After a year she matriculated fully into the College. As a Queens College student, Andrews became involved in the Student Help Project, tutoring school children in Jamaica, Queens and Prince Edward County, Virginia. She also attended the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom in 1963 on the way back from Virginia to New York. In 1965 she graduated with a major in History and a minor in Education. At 22 years of age Andrews lived in India for 9 months with her husband who had received a Fulbright. Upon returning to the U.S. she taught history for three years at Long Island City High School in Queens. Andrews then moved to Washington D.C. and obtained her Master’s degree in Psychology from Catholic University in 1972. She went on to become a United States probation officer, supervising people convicted of federal crimes, writing pre-sentencing reports, and making recommendations for sentencing. She was only the fifth woman in the country to be promoted to Supervising U.S. Probation Officer. After spending two years at the Administrative Office of the Federal Courts as a Programs Specialist, she became the Chief U.S. Probation Officer for the Eastern District of Tennessee. At the time she was only the second woman to be appointed as a Chief. During her tenure she received the Director's Award for Outstanding Leadership. Andrews retired from her career as a probation officer in 2000; since then she has been working as a mitigation specialist on death penalty cases.


0.3 Linear Feet (Portion of one standard document case)

Language of Materials



Rosalind Andrews (then Rosalind Silverman) was a Queens College student who volunteered with the Student Help Project, tutoring under-served children in both Queens and Virginia. In the summer of 1963, she and the other members of the project traveled to Farmville, Virginia, to spend six weeks teaching the African American children of Prince Edward County. These children had been denied formal education since 1959, when the county defunded and closed its public schools rather than comply with court-mandated racial integration. The collection includes newspaper articles, classroom work by students, correspondence, a flyer, and a photograph.

Arrangement Note

Series I: Virginia Student Help Project Series II: Photographs


Donated by Rosalind Andrews in 2009. Andrews notes that her parents, Jeanette and Robert Silverman, were incredibly supportive of her decision to volunteer in VA in 1963, and that Jeanette saved these materials over the years.

Related collections

The following Queens College collections also include records about the Student Help Project in Jamaica, New York and Farmville, Virginia:

Debby Yaffe Papers

Elliot Linzer Papers

Jean L. Konzal Papers

Michael Wenger Papers

Phyllis Padow-Sederbaum Papers

Stan Shaw Papers

Finding aids to the collections above may be found in the Civil Rights and Social Justice Collecting Area.


The Rosalind Andrews Collection is only physically owned by the Queens College Libraries. Intellectual rights, including copyright, belong to the authors or their legal heirs and assignees. Queens College assumes no responsibility for the infringement of copyrights held by the original authors, creators, or producers of materials.



Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script

Repository Details

Part of the Queens College (New York, N.Y.) Special Collections and Archives Repository

Queens College Library, CUNY
Benjamin Rosenthal Library RO317
65-30 Kissena Boulevard
Flushing 11367 USA us