Building Bridges in Macon County: April 30

Macon County high school juniors and seniors, many of whom are fulfilling requirements for Bridge Builders Alabama, meet every other Tuesday night at Pleasant Grove Missionary Baptist Church on Highway 81 between Notasulga and Tuskegee.  Auburn University undergraduates work alongside them, as they develop skills related to life, work, and college.  The program is funded in part by the Appalachian Regional Commission.

IMG_9231Tonight we had a wonderful crowd and lots of activity.  Some 9th graders and their parents joined us for an informational meeting related to a new camp we are holding on campus June 2-5, 2013.  We’re calling it Macon Citizens Camp, and the residential camp will feature a number of activities to develop skills as active citizens, with visits from organizations such as the David Mathews Center for Civic Life, Bridge Builders Alabama, the Carey Center for Philanthropy and Non-profit Studies, and more.

IMG_9173Our work tonight took place outside, and the sunset over Beck’s Turf Farm was a great backdrop for the work of painting the pieces for the Little Free Library that will be installed and dedicated on Saturday, May 4 at 1 p.m. at Tuskegee Youth Safe Haven.  Saturday is a big day, beginning with Carver Day activities on the courthouse square at 10 a.m.  We will be helping children make George Washington Carver buttons using the image from the famous Booker T. Washington./Carver coin from the U.S. Mint, which was designed by artist Isaac Scott Hathaway, who taught at Tuskegee University for several years and at Auburn University for one summer.  We’ll also record voices reciting Carver’s favorite poem “Equipment,” written by Edward Guest.

IMG_9187Following Carver Day activities, we will head to Safe Haven at 2908 Foster Street and dedicate a mosaic tile bench created by our students.  Kay Stone and the AU Environmental Institute coached students through the design and creation process, and the message of the bench is one developed by students: Education is Key.  Next to the bench will be the little library, designed and built with the help of AU landscape architecture professor Jocelyn Zanzot, artist Dan Neil, and interior architecture professor Kevin Moore. This installation is the first of three, and we look forward to working with the City of Tuskegee and County Commission to dedicate the second one very soon.  Join us on Saturday on the courthouse square or at Safe Haven!

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