Tuscaloosa’s New Heights center offers students, parents accessible assistance


Tuscaloosa City Schools’ New Heights Community Resource Center is already making a difference for students and parents.

Tuscaloosa City Schools Superintendent Mike Daria met with the Tuscaloosa City School Board Tuesday evening with an update on what’s happening at the new center.

The center opened in late January and houses the STARS Academy and several nonprofits making improvements in and around West Alabama.

One day soon, it will also be a place where students in need can visit with their parents to get new clothes and school supplies. Bringing all these services to one spot ensures they’re more accessible, Daria said, but there’s even more on the way.

“This is a center that in concept brings together all of the partners that we have in our community who serve our students and their families,” he said. “We are open now and tonight I just briefed the board on the establishment of a New Heights Foundation to help facilitate the work being done at New Heights with resources and grants.”

Daria said the idea of installing a foundation came from looking at organizations in West Alabama that support students and families. The New Heights building, which is the former Stillman Heights Elementary School, transformed classroom space into office space for several area nonprofits.

They include:

“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.”

The center is the first of its kind in the state. If things go well, centers like these could pop up in school systems around Alabama.

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