Words with Friends (September 22)

Written by Joy Porter, AU student and CCE Fellow.

image from Words with Friends program

Left to right: Auburn student Callie Shepherd and community partner Charlotte Mattox, the Housing Authority’s FSS/Social Services Coordinator

You heard it here first: Scrabble is taking the Ridgecrest neighborhood by storm!

Okay, so it’s probably a little early to make big pronouncements like that, but, even though we’re only in our second official week, we’ve already had a good number of kids join us for some word games and snacks in our Monday afternoon program. This week, we had all the kids from last week return, and they brought a few friends with them. Hopefully, we’ll be able to continue this trend, adding a few new students each week.

The kids we’ve been working with are mainly elementary- and junior high-age, so we’re still in the instruction stage of figuring out the game. Towards the end, we got a few good games going— Callie and I played two little girls from Ridgecrest, and we had a lot of fun. Some of the answers in our game got a little silly— it’s funny, I never knew there were quite so many words that had each a Q and X and K in them! In all seriousness, though, it was a lot of fun to see the girls get into the game and to stretch their creativity as they told us all about the meanings and origins of their invented words. Next week, though, we may try to get a few more words from the dictionary on the board!

Wonderful Wednesdays (September 24)

Written by Joy Porter, AU student and CCE Fellow.

image of people at Wonderful Wednesdays program

Left side of table, left to right: Charlotte Mattox, Annie Avery, Edward Echols
Right side of table, left to right: Ruby Morgan (in pink), Ruth Lockhart (in patterned blue)

New week, new games.

This week, we decided to mix it up a bit in our Wonderful Wednesday program in the Porter neighborhood, introducing a few new games. Our right side of the table with Charlotte Mattox, Annie Avery, Edward Echols, Ruth Lockhart and Ruby Morgan played the card game ‘Tonk.’ Most of the Porter residents had played the game before, but Ms. Mattox was new to the game. Even though she had never played before, she definitely held her own in their games, even coming out as the winner of a few hands.

image of people at Wonderful Wednesdays program

Left to right: Virginia Scoggins, Mary Katherine Dean

On the left side of the table, Virginia Scoggins, Mary Katherine Dean, Jessica Davis, and I played the card game ‘Phase 10.’ I first learned about this game from the Porter folks, so I was really excited to be able to play and to challenge one of the Porter neighborhood’s ultimate competitors, Ms. Scoggins. After a slow start, I was able to come from behind and tie Ms. Scoggins and Jessica for the lead. Unfortunately, our time ran out before we were able to finish the game, but I fully expect to challenge those ladies to a rematch next week.

This week, we also began putting together a 500-piece puzzle as a group. Right now, we just have the edges completed so it doesn’t look too much like the picture (a kitten chasing a butterfly) yet, but I’ll be sure to post pictures updating our progress as we work on it this semester.

Wonderful Wednesdays (September 17th)

Written by Joy Porter, AU student and CCE Fellow.

image of people at Wonderful Wednesday program

Left to right: Annie Avery, Georgia Frazier

Well, Wednesday was our fourth Wonderful Wednesday of the semester, and I’d say it was a definite success. We’ve started to have a good core group of people come join us each week, and I’ve so enjoyed getting to know these folks from the Porter neighborhood.

image from Wonderful Wednesday program

Foreground, left to right: Arlene James (in white), Princella Owens (in patterned blue), Darlene Durr (in pink);
Background, left to right: Virginia Scoggins, Charlotte Mattox

This week we played a few of our most popular games (Uno and dominoes), but we also introduced some new ones— checkers and Chinese checkers. In my last post I talked about how spirited the dominoes games get each week, but I think the checkers may rival it in competitiveness!

I’ve included a picture between Ms. Annie Avery and Ms. Georgia Frazier. They were our two champions, handily

image from Wonderful Wednesday program

Left to right: Virginia Scoggins, Charlotte Mattox

beating everyone (including me!) who challenged them. We finally staged a championship between the two ladies. After some hard-fought games, Ms. Georgia won the showdown with three games to Ms. Annie’s one. I believe that there may be a rematch in the works in the coming weeks— if they do end up playing again, I’ll be sure to let y’all know about the ultimate winner!

Words with Friends (September 15)

Written by Joy Porter, AU student and CCE Fellow.

Words with Friends volunteer

Ellie Porter, volunteer

Well, our ‘Words with Friends’ program began in earnest this week in the Ridgecrest neighborhood, and it was so much fun! We had a good number of fifth and sixth graders join us on Monday afternoon for some Scrabble and some afternoon snacks. We had kids come from all stages of Scrabble experience— some who had grown up playing with their families, to those who had played it occasionally, to some who had never heard of the game.  For the first week, we paired the Ridgecrest students up with an Auburn or Housing Authority volunteer to help them get a feel for the game before we start our tournament. Early on, we played casually, more focused on learning or re-learning the rules. As the game went on, however, and the students got more comfortable, these games got intense as the students tried to outdo their friends with the most impressive word.

We broke into two games, with two teams competing against each other in each game. At our table we talked about what our favorite classes were, and the student who was on my team told me about how much she loved to read. That love of reading definitely came in handy during the game. She had a great vocabulary and a really good eye for pulling words out of our jumble of letters. We didn’t keep score this week, but if we had, I definitely think she would have been our winner!

Wonderful Wednesdays

Written by Joy Porter, AU student and CCE Fellow.

image of civic program

Left side of table (foreground to background): student Maggie Ingram, Ruby Morgan, student, Virginia Scroggins, David Williams, Georgia Grazier, student Aaron Right side of table (foreground to background): Ruby Lockhart, Whitney Sanford , student Jessica Davis, Charlotte Mattox, Ms. Annie, student Mary Katherine Dean, Mattie Ogletree, Edward Echols

‘Wonderful Wednesdays’ is a really great program Auburn University students are doing with the Public Housing Authority.  For this project, we’re working with Ms. Mattox, and we meet in the Porter Center, in the Porter Public Housing Neighborhood (on Porter Road, which is right off North Donahue Drive). Each Wednesday afternoon from three to four-thirty, we get to hang out with the coolest senior citizens around— drinking coffee, eating cookies, and playing games.

image of civic program

Left to right: student Whitney Sanford, Virginia Scroggins, David Williams, and student Jessica Davis

This past Wednesday, was our third Wonderful Wednesday of the semester with the residents of the Porter neighborhood. From three to four-thirty, we got to hang out with the coolest senior citizens around— drinking coffee, eating cookies, and playing games. Last week we had an extra treat: Chick-fil-a milkshakes!

image of civic program

Foreground, left to right: Ruby Morgan, student Maggie Ingram, Princella Owens, Ruth Lockhart Background, left to right: Edward Echols, Mattie Ogletree, student Mary Katherine Dean, Ms. Annie, Charlotte Mattox, student Jessica Davis

We set up three different game stations, with tables designated for Uno, Phase 10, and dominoes. Every so often, we’d switch games, so that everyone was able to play each game for a little bit. Dominoes are probably the favorite so far—these games, full of some (good-natured) trash-talking, can get pretty competitive! The Porter residents have also said they enjoyed getting to learn some new games like Uno and Phase 10.

image of civic program

Left to right: Georgia Frazier, student Aaron (partially shown), Edward Echols, Mattie Ogletree, student Mary Katherine Dean, Ms. Annie

All in all, it was a really fun afternoon, and I think we all really enjoyed the chance to spend some time with our neighbors and get to know each other better. If you’re interested in learning more about this project, contact Charlotte Mattox at cmattox@auburnhousingauth.org, or me, Joy Porter, at jmp0038@auburn.edu.

Our Common History Display at Tuskegee Public Library

Written by Blake Evans, AU Graduate Assistant.

image of event display

Picture courtesy Ruby Granberry

On Friday, September 5, Auburn University and the Tuskegee Public Library collaborated on a bulletin board project to advertise the Our Common History lecture series that is being hosted by the Tuskegee History Center.  The lecture series is sponsored by the Tuskegee History Center, Tuskegee University Department of History and Political Science, and the Caroline Marshall Draughon Center for the Arts and Humanities in the College of Liberal Arts at Auburn University, with funding from the Alabama Humanities Foundation, state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

image of event displayPlease click here or more information about the lecture series.  You can also stop by the Tuskegee Public Library to view the bulletin board and read about the different lecturers who will be presenting as part of the series.​

Incoming Auburn University Students Participate in Poverty Simulation

People participating in poverty simulationMany incoming Auburn University freshmen participated in a poverty simulation on Monday, August 11.  The event was sponsored by Alabama Possible, the Auburn University Honors College, and the Auburn University Office of Public Service.  It provided an eye-opening experience for many of the incoming freshmen.  During the simulation, students assumed roles of citizens living near and under the poverty line.  They learned the difficulty of managing funds when money is scarce, and they also discovered the consequences of not paying bills.  For example, the simulation featured mock evictions to show the students what happens when rent and mortgage payments are People participating in poverty simulationnot on time.  Additionally, it helped the students realize the difficulty of managing a plethora of responsibilities, such as children and work, when money is limited.

The goal of the simulation was to provide insight regarding the way in which thousands of Alabama citizens live on a daily basis.  The simulation provided the students a unique perspective on life that should raise awareness on the important issue of poverty.poverty simulation material