By Morgan Bryce


Children involved in the Ward 2 Academy’s after-school program will hold a Black History Month celebration titled “Watch Me Lead, Watch Me Make a Change” Feb. 21 at the Opelika Learning Center.

Beginning at 6:30 p.m., the program will feature children’s artwork, entertainment and performances that will pay homage to the different African American individuals associated with the annual month long celebration.

Launched in February 2017 by Ward 2 Councilwoman Tiffany Gibson-Pitts, the academy provides career and educational services to children, adults and senior citizens within the Jeter community. Pitts said she was inspired to create the program while campaigning for her Ward 2 seat in fall 2016.

“While I was out in the district, I met a lot of guys who were just hanging out on the corners, so one thing I was asking them about was their education, if they had a GED or not, and many of them did not have jobs. They were really stressing to me that they wanted employment … some of them had a diploma, but I think the majority of them did not,” Gibson-Pitts said in a 2017 interview with the Observer. “And I also listened to a lot of elderly people when I was out, talking about how things used to be and what needs to happen, and I talked to a lot of young moms. There was a lot of tears on the campaign trail when people were talking to me about things that their children were encountering, and just a lack of activities and things for them to do.”

The program is free to attend and open to the public. For more information, call Valerie Canady at 706-402-5010. The center is located at 214 Jeter Ave.