Tuscaloosa City Schools celebrated the grand opening of a community resource haven that will house several nonprofit partners to assist the needs of students Wednesday.

The New Heights Community Resource Center, located in the recently-renovated Stillman Heights Elementary, is an "innovative partnership between the Tuscaloosa City Schools and local area non-profits to help ensure the needs of TCS students, their families and the broader community are met."

New Heights centers around five specific areas of focus, including education, homelessness and homelessness prevention, youth services, mental health and healthcare.

The celebration featured remarks from Dr. Mike Daria, superintendent of TCS, as well as state superintendent, Dr. Eric Mackey, Tuscaloosa Mayor Walt Maddox and other community partners and supporters.

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"This is an incredible event but what's most important is that this in an incredible support for our families," Daria said. "We recognize that in order to meet the needs of students academically, we know we have to meet all of their needs, the whole child. We are limited in what that support provides , but that changes today."

Daria said with the opening of New Heights, students and parents can be connect to an endless amount of resources, including after-school care, drug and alcohol prevention, mental health accessibility, among other offered services.

"We're providing a one-stop support for our students and their families," Daria said.

Daria thanked Dr. Mackey and the state board of education for allowing Tuscaloosa to spearhead this project, in which Mackey said has the potential to be in every community across the state.

"We are providing hope and opportunity for our young people," Mackey said. "We need connections to community agencies. This is what it's about because there is no way that any school, no matter how great, can ever do enough for families who have great needs. We have to have community partners, we have to work together and we have to make sure we discover those individual needs and then we meet those needs and that's what Tuscaloosa is doing."

Ellen Potts, the executive director of Habitat for Humanity Tuscaloosa and one of the partners that will operate in the new facility, said she is excited their organization will have the opportunity to impact students and families through the partnership.

"We have always had a wonderful partnership through with Tuscaloosa City Schools, but that has really taken off since our Operation Transformation initiative began in 2021," Potts said. "When we were invited to be apart of New Heights, we were very grateful for that opportunity and it was an easy 'yes.'"

The community partners will house several community partners and will have outside organizations that will also provide additional resources. The partners include:

  • Habitat for Humanity Tuscaloosa
  • Five Horizons Health
  • Disability Rights and Resources
  • PRIDE of Tuscaloosa
  • Literacy Council of West ALabama
  • Tuscaloosa Reads
  • Kristen Amerson Youth Foundation
  • Boys and Girls Club of West Alabama
  • Parents as Teachers
  • Fuerza Multicultural

The New Heights Community Resource Center sits at 3834 21st Street in West Tuscaloosa.

For more information on New Heights Community Resource Center, contact Tesney Davis, TCS coordinator of mental health, at tpdavis@tusc.k12.al.us

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