Learning environment

Spirit of Alabama: Tuscaloosa House Provides a Welcoming Learning Environment


At first glance, it is a beautiful brick house where any family might like to live. But it’s more than that, as two University of Alabama students can tell you.

Quin Kelly Jr. and Alexus Cumbie serve on the board of directors of The Tuscaloosa House.

“What we hope to do with our literacy center is give children the building blocks to be successful and extend their lives,” Kelly said.

Kelly and Cumbie spend a lot of time working in a quaint brick house on the Stillman College campus. It once served as the residence of the school president, but has been vacant for about 20 years. Today, it comes back to life with a new mission: to ensure that children are literate.

“Literacy is understanding, not just reading, but understanding,” Kelly said. “So our focus right now is educational literacy, spiritual literacy, and music literacy, but we hope to expand that to other areas. “

“Quin, me and the rest of the board come here almost every day, several times a week to paint, sand things and move furniture,” Cumbie said. “It’s a smaller team because of COVID, but we’re just lucky to have people working outside and really helping us run the house. “

Inside, the shelves are already filling with books. Many books. Kelly and Cumbie, who are both AU graduate students, said they want Tuscaloosa House to become a special space.

“My goal is that we can really connect with the teenage population,” Cumbie said. “I think their reading comprehension is crucial and they can either sink or swim.”

Maison Tuscaloosa is getting ready to begin its work in earnest this summer. Kelly, Cumbie and their fellow volunteers are also working on fundraising and awareness.

Their next event, which will take place on May 8 from 7 a.m. to noon behind Snow Hinton Park, is a sidewalk sale to benefit The House Tuscaloosa.

Visitors to the sale can fill a bag for $ 5 or a box for $ 15. If you are interested in donating items for sale or volunteering, you can email [email protected]

You can also make a monetary donation to the organization here.


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