Tuscaloosa City Schools celebrates new recourse center’s opening
By WVUA 23 News Student Reporter Savannah Denton
“The concept came out of looking at the organizations that we have in our community to support our students and families and really just pulling them together to work together and synergize to really provide that wrap-around service to our students and families,” said TCS Superintendent Mike Daria.
Plans for the center were proposed in 2021 for bringing community services together and making them more accessible for students and their families.
The New Heights building, which is the former Stillman Heights Elementary School, transformed classroom space into office space for several area nonprofits.
- Habitat for Humanity Tuscaloosa
- Literacy Council of West Alabama
- Five Horizons Health Services
- Parents Resource Institute for Drug Education of Tuscaloosa
- Kristen Amerson Youth Foundation
- Boys and Girls Clubs of West Alabama
- Parents as Teachers
- Tuscaloosa Reads
- Fuerza Multicultural de Tuscaloosa
Having these agencies in one spot means school administrators can better steer parents and students toward important resources.
TCS’ STARS Academy is also on site.
“This center is a place of hope and we hope that this center will provide students with anything they may need to succeed in the classroom,” said TCS Mental Health Coordinator Tesney Davis. “So when they walk through the doors, their backpacks won’t be heavy with things like homelessness or mental health issues or health care issues because we will be able to address those here at New Heights Community Resource Center.”
Because the center is the first of its kind in the state, state school leaders will be watching closely. If things go well, centers like these could pop up in school systems around Alabama.
“This really is the long-term vision of putting those mental health services coordinators in each school district,” said Alabama State Superintendent of Education Eric Mackey. “I am glad Tuscaloosa is leading the way. This is obviously very big for Tuscaloosa, being the first to step out and make this happen. But I hope that this will be just one more step to us getting this kind of service to every community across the state.”