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  1. In Your Backyard: DMC’s 2019 Educator Summit

    The David Mathews Center for Civic Life concluded its Alabama Bicentennial Commission supported teacher workshop series on October 1, 2019, with “In Your Backyard: Civic Education Through Historical Perspective Taking.” Read More »

  2. Montevallo’s Family Literacy Program

    The Montevallo Family Literacy Program, an initiative for ELL families that spurred from ideas discussed during the Cradle to Career forum series in Montevallo, had its first parent education class on October 8, 2019. The Montevallo Family Literacy Program is a many pronged approach to literacy available to ELL families in the Montevallo community.

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  3. Announcing the 2019 – 2020 Jean O’Connor- Snyder Internship Programs

    During the early spring of 2019, The DMC invited institutions of higher education across the state to send in applications for the Jean O’Connor-Snyder Internship Program (JOIP). Established in 2008, the David Mathews Center’s longest running program, lovingly named in honor of Mrs. Jean O’Connor – Snyder, provides experiential learning opportunities for Alabama’s undergraduate students. Over the past eleven years the DMC has funded JOIP programs in twelve Alabama colleges and universities, engaging over 210 students who worked in 22 different Alabama counties. 

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  4. Civic Dispatch: The Marion Cemetery, A Lesson in Community Involvement

    Jean O’Connor-Snyder intern Logan Goulart reflects on the Marion Cemetery in his thought piece from Marion, Alabama.

    Across the street from historic Judson College, the entrance to the cemetery is what you would expect of any cemetery entrance: two brick pillars and a metal arch with “Marion Cemetery” in slanted letters.

    A paved road leads into the heart of the cemetery. Headstones dot the landscape in front, and white obelisks stand out amidst the gray. The grave markers emit an undeniable sense of history, and memories flood the senses.  Read More »

  5. Civic Dispatch: Giving to the Giving Garden

    Jean O’Connor-Snyder intern Jack West reports on Elba’s Giving Garden in his thought piece from Coffee County, Alabama. 

    Behind the old jail and its rusted-out cells, new life sprouts every year in Elba. 

    The community’s Giving Garden is a plot of land where volunteers can help grow cucumbers, tomatoes, bell peppers, and other produce that is then donated to the Elba Community Food Bank.

    The garden was started and is managed by Restoration154, Inc., a non-profit group in Elba. 

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  6. Civic Dispatch: BAMA KIDS Inc. Builds Wilcox County Success Story

    Jean O’Connor-Snyder intern Laura Thompson reports on the work of BAMA KIDS Inc. in her thought piece from Camden. 

    After nurturing children in Wilcox County for more than 25 years, BAMA KIDS Inc. provided a full slate of educational and recreational opportunities for more than 70 children this summer.

    Created in 1993 by a group of volunteers inspired by Albert Gordon and the Rev. Frank Smith, BAMA KIDS started with a “lot of enthusiasm and community support” but little money.

    Today, thanks to collaborations with people throughout the Camden community and institutions like the University of Alabama in Birmingham and foundations, the organization has produced countless success stories.

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  7. Civic Dispatch: When Rural Isn’t Rural Enough, Challenges to Mental Healthcare in Walker County

    Jean O’Connor-Snyder intern Logan Fenhouse reports on access to mental healthcare in her civic dispatch from Walker County.

    According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, almost one in five of American adults will suffer from a mental illness of some form within the next year. In Walker County alone, that means nearly 13,000 of the almost 65,000 residents here will experience mental health problems. For a tight-knit small town like Jasper, this means that practically everyone knows someone, or are themselves, facing mental illness.

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  8. Civic Dispatch: Lou Schell Loves Life on the Road and at Home in Chatom

    Jean O’Connor-Snyder intern Melissa Dennis shares Lou Schell’s story in her thought piece from Chatom, Alabama. 

    When talking with Inda Lou Schell in Chatom, Alabama, three things become evident: one, community is an essential part of life; two, the sky’s the limit; three, “people [truly] make the difference.”  Read More »

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