This new dynamic has forced public education to accelerate the learning curve which has the unintended consequence of leaving too many of our children behind. To that end, that is why I am so passionate about the Tuscaloosa Pre-K Initiative (TPI). Created in 2006, TPI was formed to expand and enhance the Tuscaloosa City Schools existing pre-k program which was limited in classrooms, but limitless in achieving success.
Today, we have 250 academically at-risk four-year olds who are being provided an invaluable opportunity to be reading to learn instead of learning to read by the time they reach third grade. The benefits of pre-k programs are boundless, but state funding is scarce. Understanding this dynamic, TPI has been a model of public-private success with so many heroes such as the University of Alabama, United Way, Tuscaloosa City Council, Tuscaloosa City Schools, Mercedes-Benz USI, and countless citizens such as Tom Joyner and Jim Harrison Jr. who have invested time, talent and treasure.
Fundraising and awareness are critical elements of TPI which is why we created the Tuscaloosa Mayor’s Cup 5K in 2007.
Since our first race, we have raised $171,000 which has gone directly into the classroom. This year’s 10th Annual Mayor’s Cup 5K and 10K, which is being presented by Mercedes-Benz, will be held on Saturday, April 23 at Government Plaza. We’ve even included a 10k option for those looking for more of a challenge.
Whether you want to set a personal record or simply walk the course to enjoy a great day in Tuscaloosa, your participation makes a real difference in lives of our next generation.
For more information and registration, check out www.tuscaloosamayorscup.com or contact Tuscaloosa 311 at (205) 248-5311.