WHO WE ARE
Here at the Tutwiler Community Education Center we are driven by one single goal: to make our community a better place. We strive to make a positive impact with all of our work.The Tutwiler Community Education Center strengthens children and families by developing programs that address the needs of the community. We envision a community working together to help enrich the lives of children and families.
The Tutwiler Community Education Center mission and values are engrained in our history. In August of 1983, at the invitation of the Tutwiler Mayor and Town Council, Sr. Anne Brooks S.N.J.M., D.O. and 3 other Catholic Sisters came to Tutwiler, MS to reopen the Tutwiler Clinic. Dr. Brooks espouses a holistic approach to medicine. She believes that multiple factors influence the quality of health enjoyed by people. Where people live, work, go to school, recreate, shop, are all important factors that contribute to a person's well-being. She found that many necessities of life were lacking here in the Delta Area of Mississippi for many of her patients including transportation to the doctor, lack of jobs, poor housing, lack of recreation facilities for children, to mention just a few. With all this in mind, she began to look for a person to do outreach at the Tutwiler Clinic.
In September of 1987 Sister Maureen Delaney S.N.J.M., who had been doing community organizing in Oakland, California, came to Tutwiler to join Dr. Anne Brooks at the Tutwiler Clinic and started the outreach program. Her focus was threefold; 1) develop programs coming out of the needs and concerns of the people, 2) develop a sense of community or people power in all the programs and 3) hire as many local people as possible. With these three targets in mind, Sister Maureen developed several programs that were held in the "back room" of the Tutwiler Clinic. These programs were: GED, preschool play group, summer programs, parenting programs, the quilting program, and work on town issues.
It soon became apparent that the back room of the Tutwiler Clinic was too small to house all the outreach activities that were developing. As a result, the idea of the Tutwiler Community Education Center was born. In 1990, national attention was focused on the Tutwiler community when the CBS news program 60 Minutes aired a segment on the conditions in Tutwiler and the work of the Tutwiler Clinic to address those issues. As a result, donations poured in from all over the county, much of which were dedicated to building a community center. Along with a major grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation these funds supported the building of the 10,000 square foot building now known as the Tutwiler Community Education Center. In 2001, additional funds were raised and a 7,000 square foot gymnasium was added to the facility.