Prospect Lefferts street co-named for Grenadian educator

Her way: From left, Sybil Mitchell, Andrea Lyles, Meredith Whiteman, Dawn Mitchell, Francine Whiteman, and Antthony Briggs, relatives and children and grandchildren of Lenore Briggs celebrate the co-naming of Rutland Road near Rogers Avenue after the educator.
Photo by Jason Speakman

A street honor for a pioneer.

Family and friends of Brooklyn educator Lenore G. Briggs celebrated the street co-naming ceremony in her honor in Prospect Lefferts Gardens on Oct. 21. The northeast corner of Rutland Road and Rogers Avenue was co-named for the early childhood educator, who passed away in 2015. The grand recognition was a moment of pride for people who knew her and supported the work she did for the neighborhood, said one of her daughters.

“I’m so very proud and it just shows how she was totally unstoppable in her life — any obstacle she had, she was able to overcome and she’s an inspiration that makes everyone so proud,” said Meryl Thompson.

Briggs’ six adult children, former students, past and current staff of the Lefferts Gardens Montessori school, which she founded in the 70s and Councilman Mathieu Eugene (D–Flatbush) attended the ceremony.

Thompson said her mother’s dedication to community service earned her various awards and certificates from elected officials including councilwoman Yvette D. Clarke, and former Borough president Howard Golden.

“It was very victorious to see her culminate into a street co-naming — she made many contributions to the community and she started from nothing,” she said.

Briggs moved to the United States from Grenada in 1965 and worked several jobs before opening her own daycare out of her home on Rogers Avenue. Afterwards, she moved into a bigger space opening what is now the Lefferts Gardens Montessori School, which is run by her youngest son Anthony Briggs.

Thompson said as the neighborhood changes all around them, the permanent sign now stands as a reminder to the community of who she was and what she brought to Prospect Lefferts Gardens.

“She was very kind and overall I think my mother was a person that didn’t let anything get in the way of her dreams,” said Thompson. “She was a humanitarian and she always wanted to be of help to someone.”

Reach reporter Alexandra Simon at (718) 260–8310 or e-mail her at asimo[email protected]local.com.

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