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.
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.
Jean O’Connor-Snyder intern Vaughn reflects on rural progress in his thought piece from Jasper, Alabama.
“We’ve got to keep a high level of community interest involvement. We can’t let our people get to where we’re complacent” Brent McCarver says as he leans forward over his desk, making slight hand gestures. Born in Athens, Alabama, but living in Jasper, McCarver lived in and around Athens and Russellville in North Alabama until his mid-twenties. He went to college in the area, but had never been to Jasper until he was 25 and working on a political campaign.
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 »
Jean O’Connor-Snyder intern Katie Tindol reflects on Carl A. Elliot’s legacy in her thought piece from Jasper, Alabama.
Carl A. Elliott served eight consecutive terms in Congress and was the first-ever recipient of the John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award. A long-time Jasper resident, Elliott was an extraordinary individual who lived a long, productive and life centered around public service to Alabama and its citizens. Civic service was not only a defining priority in his life, but a value that Elliott inspired many to value themselves. Consequently, Elliott’s legacy lives on in many who call Jasper home fifty years after he left Congress. But this summer, when efforts to preserve Elliott’s Jasper home and the museum it houses struggled to come together, I began to look into what it might take to bring this idea to fruition.
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.
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.
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.
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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