University of Alabama Honors College students are working together with the children of Marion, highlighting what makes their house a “home.”
For Perry County residents, it’s an annual tradition seeing UA students working around the community.
The Honors College’s Black Belt Experience is in its ninth year, and offers students a chance to learn about the history of Perry County.
“We got to speak to people at the museum here, whose pictures are on the very walls,” said UA fellow Sarah Beth Strickland.
While most people notice the cosmetic effects of the group, part of the project is also to get involved with the local schools.
“We got 60 disposable cameras, gave one to each third-grader in all of Marion, and told them to take pictures of home,” said student Charlotte McRae.
Strickland and McRae said they knew sending cameras home with third-graders would have interesting results.
And the students have good reasons for each picture they took.
“I liked my family because they care about me, and my sister because she helps me,” said third-grader Kaviona Brand.
While the students were excited about telling their stories, they had no idea what else Strickland and McRae had in store for them: Their very own opening night at the local art gallery.
“It was so cool to see these people gathering at one place,” McRae said. “The kids were tugging at my grandfather’s hand, my own grandfather’s hand, to go look at their picture and explain it to him.”
Strickland and McRae said they took away so much from the experience.
“It really adds another perspective that I wouldn’t have gotten if I had gone somewhere else,” Strickland said.