“Where there is no vision, the people perish.”
The center envisions space and equipment for individual and group workstations; desktop, laptop and iPad mobile carts; digital library and sound studio; and Internet and Wifi connections.
The center envisions various technology infused learning programs, distributed technologies, and supporting staff, who facilitate development and implementation of educational programs.
In the pursuit of a more equitable society in general and digital equity in particular, the center is housed in and serves an historically underserved and predominately African American community.
History and Description of
The Althea Augustine Technology Learning Center, Inc. (AATLC) is housed in a Lincoln Heights, Ohio property, owned by and leased from the Society of the Transfiguration in Glendale, Ohio. This particular property in Lincoln Heights, Ohio is now known as St. Monica’s Recreation Center, but was formerly known as St. Simon’s Elementary School. The elementary school was connected to the St. Simon of Cyrene Episcopal Church during its operation and served the African American children of Lincoln Heights regardless of religious affiliation. The elementary school was a mission of and was operated by the nuns/Sisters of the Transfiguration and many served as teachers and administrators along with some lay African American teachers from the community. The buildings on this property consist of a cornerstone 3-story, white, wood-frame, Victorian house with a front porch circling the front and one side of the structure and a significant front lawn that faces Chester Road. During the school’s operation, the ground and upper floors of this house served as seventh and eighth grade classrooms, kitchen facilities, and at times, a library. Concrete white-painted block additions were constructed and attached to the Victorian house to accommodate the lower grade classrooms. The house, the concrete classrooms and the surrounding lawns and fields are what basically comprised the St. Simon’s Elementary School during its operation from 1931 until 1971.
After the school’s closing the Sisters of the Transfiguration renovated the properties to accommodate after school programs for children ages 6-16 and collectively the buildings are known as St. Monica’s Recreation Center. (At some point, The St. Simon’s Episcopal Church became an independent parish and was no longer connected to the St. Monica’s properties.) The classrooms now accommodate various game, play, and reading rooms and an official size gymnasium was built as an addition in recent years. The interior of the Victorian house was renovated and furnished to match its architecture but has been underused by the recreation center. However, the house itself, because of its history, is held in highest regard with the alumni of the school. It is within this house facing Chester Road, that AATLC has leased space for implementing its services and programs.
The Vision in the Name
As President of AATLC, this vision has roots in my childhood experiences in Lincoln Heights, Ohio and while attending the St. Simon’s Elementary School. It was there that I encountered Sister Althea Augustine.
(P. R. Leigh)
During my school years, Sister Althea was the only African/Black American nun in the Glendale Episcopalian Community and was one of the nuns who taught in the St. Simon’s School. My 5th grade science teacher and beloved Godmother! After the closing of the school, she continued to be committed to the children of Lincoln Heights and the St. Monica projects that served them from those original buildings and properties. She was also interested in the latest computer technologies, which were often gifted to her by friends of the Community. Each time I would visit my family in Lincoln Heights, we would make efforts to meet for lunch and then have tutorial sessions at the convent. I would share my knowledge on laptops, ipads, and various applications. Because of her love of technology and appreciation of how it can enrich and change lives in positive ways and her love of the people in the Lincoln Heights community, the new technology center bears her name.
This picture also reflects a dream and a vision. When I presented a proposal for access to some of the St. Monica’s Recreation Center buildings and rooms where the old St. Simon’s school was held, I was shown this house as possible space for the AATLC, should it be approved by the Sisters of the Transfiguration. My heart leapt! I had not been in this beautiful house since my school days. It became part of my vision that I wanted to keep before me. I edited this graphic, adding the marker to reflect that vision. After successful incorporation, the Sisters approved the use of this house by entering into a contract stating so.