MAIN STREET MARION WELCOMES UNIVERSITY OF ALABAMA FELLOWS 

May 5, 2021

University of Alabama Honors College fellows will be volunteering in Marion over the next two weeks. Some of the many projects they will be working on are outlined below. 

Covid Education and Vaccination Station – Students will distribute educational materials related to Covid and, supervised by public health officials and trained nurses, assist with registration and observation at regularly scheduled vaccination drives in Marion, AL. They will interview Marion residents regarding their experiences during the pandemic, as well as appear on Marion-based radio station WJUS alongside healthcare professional Frances Ford (Executive Director of healthcare nonprofit Sowing Seeds of Hope and longtime registered nurse).

 

Square to Stadium – Students will assist grassroots organization Main Street Marion with clearing out two local buildings (Harris and Wilbourne Buildings) in the downtown square to prepare for renovation efforts. When the buildings are cleared, the group will transition to the public nature trail at the local high school stadium to clear paths and collect trash.

 

Marion Librarians – Students will be decorating and installing Little Free Libraries in Marion to be filled with children’s books with inclusive protagonists. Because this work will not span two weeks, they will also engage in a rehabilitation effort for the downtown “pocket park”, weeding, mulching, laying pavers, and installing benches.

 

Connect Marion – Students will assist Main Street Marion and E-Footprints in building a grant application to bring more reliable and accessible broadband infrastructure to Perry County. As a part of their work, students will also canvass local citizens for their experiences with local internet infrastructure to submit to the FCC as part of the federal organization’s recent call for comments on US broadband infrastructure and use.

 

Marion Digital – Students will assist Main Street Marion and their director of communications, Colleen Dolan, in developing audiovisual content for social media platforms and building a “Day in Marion” campaign to boost tourism efforts. They will also canvass local businesses and notable sites to add information to publicly-sourced web resources (Atlas Obscura, Yelp, etc.) and organize a “SWOT Summit” with other Alabama community-development leaders.

 

Harvesting History – Students will assist with the construction of a website for historic Lincoln Normal School; digitize museum artifacts; arrange a drop-off date for additional artifacts from the local community to be collected; and help conduct initial interviews with alumni (and descendants of alumni) of the school.

 

Hallway of Champions + Affirmation Station – Students will assist in removing lockers and preparing a hallway in Francis Marion School for an aspirational mural to be completed by students upon their return to classes in the fall. With additional time, they will refurbish a restroom with quotes and success stories.

 

ACTing Up – Students will mentor Francis Marion 10th graders via Zoom to prepare them for the ACT and other standardized tests, emphasizing test-taking strategy over content. 

 

Project Grassroot – Students are in the process of fundraising for the reopening of badly-damaged Perry Lakes Park.

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