Founded in 1911 by the Reverend Henderson Dunn, Hume Child Development Center is one of the oldest pre-school education centers designed to serve African American children in the South and probably in the country. During his pastorate at Central Congregational Church, Reverend Dunn recognized the pressing need of black families to have a safe place to leave their children while they worked. The Center is additionally an outgrowth of a community program begun at Central by Isabella Hume, a teacher at Straight College and an assistant pastor at the church, to assist black mothers.
Hume Center was originally housed in the basement of the old Central Congregational Church at Liberty and Cleveland Streets in New Orleans and called the Colored Day Nursery. In 1931, the Center moved to the Daniel Hand School building on the Straight College grounds at Rocheblave and Canal Streets and its name was changed to honor Miss Hume. Since 1954, the Center has occupied its present space at 319 North Tonti Street.
Central has sponsored Hume since its beginning; however, a non-denominational Board of Directors drawn from the community governs the Center’s operations. The Center was incorporated in 1975 as an independent agency and offers programs for students from 15 months to 5 years of age. During the 1960’s, Hume’s services were expanded to incorporate after school programs for students aged 6 to 12.
Under the leadership of a new Director, Helen Smith Green and a small staff, we have re-opened as of November 1, 2007. Our staff is very dedicated and many of the pre-Katrina faculty have returned to Hume Center. Additionally, most of our administrative staff have donated their services for almost a year to help the Center get started.