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Prospect Lefferts street co-named for Grenadian educator

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Big supporters: From left, Sonjay Murray, parent of former student of Lefferts Gardens Montessori, Councilman Mathieu Eugene, Sybil Mitchell, Briggs’ sister, and Francine Whiteman, Briggs’ granddaughther, hold the a co-naming sign on Oct. 22.
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Friends and family gave remarks at the ceremony in Prospect Lefferts Gardens.
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Councilmember Mathieu Eugene addresses the gathering at the unveiling of the northeast corner of Rutland Road and Rogers Avenue, co-named as Lenore G. Briggs Way.
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Council member Mathieu Eugene (second left) and family members pose with the new street sign.
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Song to remember: Briggs’ daughter-in-law, Angael Whiteman, center, sang songs of joy and rememberance at the ceremony, accompanied by several other relatives.
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Lenore G. Briggs opened one of the first Montesorri schools in Prospect Lefferts Gardens in the early 70s and helped educate many students. She passed away in April 2015 and was honored with a street co-naming on Oct. 21.

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 asimon@cnglocal.com.
Updated 3:05 am, July 10, 2018
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