How ‘Yellowhammer State’ came to be

You could say it has taken 200 years for the “Making Alabama” exhibit to arrive in Decatur.

Part of the celebration of Alabama’s bicentennial, the exhibit opened at the Alabama Center For the Arts’ Performing Arts building on Tuesday.

Decatur has a prestigious spot on the traveling exhibit’s 19-month tour through the state. The exhibit will stay open here through Dec. 14, which is the state’s actual 200th birthday. Alabama became the nation’s 22nd state on Dec. 14, 1819.

Local residents should take advantage of the opportunity the exhibit offers. Instead of having to travel to Montgomery to see displays on state history, you can visit them in downtown Decatur.

The exhibit blends artistic collages, interactive computer tablets and an audio medley of song and spoken word to tell the state’s story. Visitors also can glimpse into Morgan County’s past. Artifacts and documents from the Morgan County Archives and narrative panels explain local history.

The Morgan County section even displays an actual U.S. land patent signed by President James Monroe in 1824.

Hours to view the exhibit are 8 a.m.- 8 p.m., Monday-Thursday, and 8 a.m.-noon, Friday. There is no admission charge.

Support for older students

Everything from a family crisis to teenage shortsightedness can prevent people from finishing high school.

Many young people without diplomas later regret it because they know they have the skills to earn one. Yet, a lack of encouragement and child care keep them from pursuing a General Educational Development diploma.

But several organizations in Decatur have come together to offer support to students trying to study for and pass the GED test.

Decatur Youth Services and Calhoun Community College established the free, self-paced GED program at Carrie Matthews Recreation Center in December. Four months later, the Committee on Church Cooperation started providing meals for the students.

Now, Parents and Children Together will offer support for parents attending the classes.

PACT, using funds from the National Center for Families Learning, will provide an hourlong parental support group and hourlong meeting for parents and children each week.

Additionally, while the parents attend class from 9 a.m. to noon on Tuesdays and Thursdays, Decatur Youth Services will provide child care at the Boys and Girls Club on Sixth Avenue Northwest.

We tip our hats to the organizations behind this effort and especially to the students trying to improve themselves.

Parents interested in participating in the program can call Patty Way at 256-355-7252. Individuals, who do not have children or have grown children and are interested in attending the GED program, can fill out an application at Carrie Matthews, 902 Sixth St. N.W.

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