Sylacauga, Alabama


  • Community name:  Sylacauga
  • Website:  http://www.sylacauga.net/
  • Population:  12,749
  • Graduation rate:  86.0%
  • Youth poverty rate:  32.3%

Overview

A six-time 100 Best winner, Sylacauga’s commitment to youth includes a focus on volunteer opportunities and health-oriented programs. Sylacauga GROWS engages more than 1,700 students at five schools where they provide over 10,000 service hours tending the schools’ gardens. The 2,600 pounds of produce grown in the gardens is donated to local families. Also, AGGIE VOLS is a school-based service program that provides students with opportunities to earn community service hours by volunteering at local organizations. The Sylacauga Alliance for Family Enhancement (SAFE) provides programs and services to local families including Door-To-Door Parenting, a 10-week parenting course that includes an in-home program for families with children ages eight to 17. The program teaches parents skills needed to help raise their children through adulthood. The Get Healthy Talladega initiative addresses obesity, hypertension and cardiovascular disease in Sylacauga by working with schools to ensure students are making healthy choices. The initiative also refers youth to a medical facility where family health advocates provide nutrition, exercise and healthy lifestyle choices education.

Community Programs

  • The SAFE Family Services Center collaborates with a variety of community sectors to provide opportunities for youth that support a positive community structure. The Center’s Door-to-Door Parenting program provides parents with education and skills that promote family bonding and engagement.
  • Together We Can provides local pre-K children with learning opportunities to achieve future success.
  • The Designers of Talladega County's Outcomes and Measurements assembles key community members to address health care and the disparities faced by those lacking health insurance.
  • The AGGIE VOLS service-learning course trains local youth in volunteer service where they can earn community service hours by volunteering at local sites.
  • Get Healthy Talladega obesity prevention initiatives are being implemented in five pilot schools across the county. At-risk youth receive in-home education for the family regarding nutrition, exercise and healthy choices.

Youth Voices

“I feel as though the people of Sylacauga have taken me under their wings and have given me numerous wonderful opportunities that will benefit me greatly as I prepare for my future.”

—Madge

“This amazing town begins helping students plan at an early age and should be commended for this great act. Volunteerism is such a huge priority today and while many communities have challenges finding students to volunteer, Sylacauga has students eager to give back to their community.”

—Maya