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The pavement that divides the University of Georgia campus from the Parkview neighborhood community center is narrow -— a two-lane street at most. But the perception of separation between the two communities could be an ocean.

The Center, affiliated with a federally subsidized affordable housing development run by the Athens Housing Authority (AHA), is located immediately adjacent to the UGA campus. According to the demographic information in 2017, 91.2% of its residents are African American, the vast majority of whom fall well below the federal poverty line.

The neighborhood's community center used to be a hub of activities but sat empty for a number of years. Beginning in the fall of 2017, the Department of Language and Literacy Education developed a partnership with the Athens Housing Authority and the College of Education to enhance literacy skills for youths in the neighborhood.

Mission

The initiative aims to provide youth in Parkview with access to high quality, arts-based, and experiential literacy after school programs. The initiative also aims to train UGA graduate and undergraduate students in developing expertise as community educators through engagement with youth at the Center and through reflective activities within our university course work. Ideally, we would like to develop the Parkview Community Literacy Center as a space to provide a nexus of support for underserved youth and their families, leveraging expertise and resources on hand at the University and in the community.

Projects

Thus far, University faculty have taught a number of undergraduate and graduate courses in the PCLC which have brought approximately 100 UGA students into the Parkview community to a) rehabilitate the Center, b) conduct community charrettes to plan future programming, and c) engage in arts-based methods for teaching youth from the community.

Other happenings include:

  • Summer and after school programs for youth run by Athens community volunteers, UGA students, and UGA faculty
  • UGA students worked with middle school students from Parkview to conduct qualitative research and code data.
  • Through a grant from the Athens Cultural Commission, UGA students worked with local muralist Broderick Flanigan to produce a public mural on the building within the context of an LLED graduate course
  • Language and Literacy faculty and PhD students earned the Coretta Scott King Book Award from the American Library Association to provide culturally relevant children's books for the center

Schedule for 2019-2020 school year:

3:30 - 5:30 p.m. Every Tuesday and Wednesday, beginning October 18

How to Give

To provide donations for the Parkview community literacy center, please contact Molly Thomas or call 706-542-2267.

You may also donate online at bit.ly/COEliteracy or make your check payable to the UGA Foundation (Put "Community Literacy Partnerships in the memo line").

Mail to:
G3 Aderhold Hall
110 Carlton St.
Athens, GA 30302

For questions about Volunteering at Parkview, email Kevin Burke or Ruth Harman.