In 1908, Jackson T. Davis, the Superintendent of Henrico County Public Schools near Richmond, Virginia named Virginia Estelle Randolph to become the United State's first "Jeanes Supervising Industrial Teacher." She created the model program for legions of Jeanes teachers who worked toward improving the communities of schools.
As the overseer of twenty three elementary schools in Henrico County, Virginia Randolph developed the first in-service training program for black teachers and worked on improving the curriculum of the schools. With the freedom to design her own agenda, she shaped industrial work and community self-help programs to meet specific needs of schools. She chronicled her progress by becoming the author of the Henrico Plan which became a reference book for southern schools receiving assistance from the Jeanes Foundation, which became known as the Negro Rural School Fund. Randolph's teaching techniques and philosophy were later adopted in Great Britain's African colonies.
The teachers were trained in schools such as today's Hampton University, Tuskegee University and many other historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs). The teachers often had to teach students in one big school house or churches. The establishment also encouraged and raised money to fund field trips and graduation.
Jeanes teachers consisted of mostly black women, because women of color were those who had the worst advantage of obtaining a job in the south. The charity gave negroes a chance to receive elementary legitimate education. Long term, the foundation encouraged blacks to vote. By 1952 there were over 510 Jeanes teachers in the south. The Jeanes Foundation is still known to be a success that has created a place with the NAACP as well as clubs and PTA committees within the minority community.
The Southern Education Foundation, a not-for-profit foundation, was created in 1937 from the Negro Rural School Fund and three others, the John F. Slater Fund, the Peabody Education Fund, and the Virginia Randolph Fund. .
The Jeanes Teacher program ended in 1968. Their work benefited black communities because prior to their help black communities lacked adequate schools and good teachers. The success of Jeanes Teachers stretched beyond African American education in Georgia. The same Jeanes Supervisors became prominent leaders during the civil rights movement. The Jeanes teachers, and their work in the 1950s are credited for laying the groundwork for the civil rights movement of the 1960s.