Former high school sweethearts, Joe and Florence rediscovered their love for one another after Florence moved back from Ohio to her hometown in Alabama. Florence had retired from the Cleveland Public Schools after 33 years of educating at-risk youth. Her service to the Cleveland Public Schools included building an at-risk high school from the ground up, being an Assistant Principal at some of the “roughest” schools in the system, and acting as Administrator of the Cleveland Metropolitan Middle College, where at-risk youth finished high school on a Community College campus while earning college credits. Joe retired from 28 years of teaching masonry and construction skills in the Macon County Public Schools (Tuskegee, AL). Joe not only taught for Macon County, but also supervised building and grounds for the County’s facilities.
In Alabama together, aware of the relative poverty of many families and, specifically, the deteriorating condition of many public schools, Joe and Florence believed they could make a difference. They understood the culture of at-risk children and the special communication skills, extreme patience, and unconditional acceptance needed to work with them effectively. Florence and Joe started New Beginnings Resource Center in 2002 as an outreach ministry of South Decatur Missionary Baptist Church. The Center later became an extension of Hale County Community Enrichment Society and received its 501(c)(3) designation in September 2012 under New Beginnings Educational Center.
The Center began as an after-school tutorial program for 1st –12th grade students who lived in Montgomery’s inner-city public housing communities. Our participants are primarily residents of Paterson Court Housing Community, Tulane Court Housing Community and surrounding inner-city, low-income areas within Montgomery County. The children, parents, and community the Center serves are almost all African-American, living in poverty, and dependent upon federal and state financial assistance. The children range in age from four to eighteen and most if not all, attend Montgomery County Public Schools. Ninety-five percent of the parents were raised in abusive and violent homes, and/or were raised in homes with parents without high school educations and with criminal records.
The Center’s staff believes education is the great equalizer, and that graduates are made, not born. The staff’s combined experience working with and educating disadvantaged youth and parents has taught them that unless the family is strengthened, intellectually, emotionally, and spiritually, its members cannot become fully healthy and productive in society. Consequently, New Beginnings takes a holistic approach. Various distinctive components of the Center’s current programs work collectively for the family on many levels. All services are provided free of charge.
“Everything can be taken from a person except his education.”
806 S. Decatur Street
Montgomery, AL 36104
Phone: (334) 356-7729
Fax: (334) 460-2858
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Educational Center is a 501(c)(3) non-profit charitable organization. All donations are tax deductible.
Monday: 12:00 - 5:00p.m.
Tuesday: 12:00 - 8:00p.m.
Wed.: 12:00 - 5:00p.m.
Thursday: 12:00 - 8:00p.m.
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