Sometimes in life, we find ourselves with a chance to do something great. For some of us, opportunity knocks more often—but if you grow up in a community trapped in the unrelenting cycle of poverty, those moments can be few and far between. So what happens when you’re given the chance to help one person achieve something great? When you seize the opportunity to support a community to change its course? When your cause has an effect that resonates through our entire city? That’s The Woodlawn Effect.

It may seem a great burden, but we know it can be done. But we also know we can’t do it alone—that’s why we need you. Together, we can make the most of this great opportunity. Because together,

We are The Woodlawn Effect.

Woodlawn Foundation 2014 Annual Report

Woodlawn women conversing outdoors

Housing Making Home Sweet Home

We are committed to cultivating a mixed-income housing model to eliminate the concentration of poverty and improve the quality of life for all residents in Woodlawn. In 2014, we made progress toward reaching a critical mass of stable housing that will lead to building a market that supports market-rate housing, and ultimately encourages increased homeownership.

Housing Rehabilitation Program Improving the quality of life for existing homeowners

22 homes renovated

$237,239 spent on rehabilitations

$10,783 average rehabilitation budget per home

As part of the National Mortgage Settlement, the Attorney General's Office awarded $500,000 to The Woodlawn Foundation to fund the Homeowner Rehabilitation Program. These funds are used to conduct necessary repairs at no cost to the homeowners. We also host workshops for homeowners that provide information on home maintenance and repairs, as well as financial literacy.

  • ADA Compliance
  • Plumbing
  • Electrical
  • Weatherization
  • Roofing
  • Bathroom Repairs
  • AL Attorney General's Office
  • Canterbury UMC Beeson Fund
  • Home Depot
  • National Bank of Commerce
  • Wells Fargo
  • Regions Bank
  • American Pest Control
  • Hinkle Roofing
  • City of Birmingham (permits)
  • Neighborhood Housing Services of Birmingham
  • Operation Hope
  • My Green Birmingham
  • Hands On Birmingham

64 new homes

The Park at Woodstation Townhomes

Broke ground on the first phase of townhouse-style, income-based housing.

64 units will be available in Summer 2015.

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Low-Interest Loans

This year, we worked with local banks to help Woodlawn homeowners make home improvements by providing them viable financial options like non-recourse low-interest loans.

Woodlawn High School

Education From Cradle to Career

We know that the long-term mission of neighborhood improvement requires a high-quality education pipeline through which every student transitions seamlessly. From birth to career, supports must be in place—both in and out of the classroom—to ensure that students are insulated and kept from “falling out” of the pipeline at any point. In 2014, we launched several initiatives crucial to our education mission.

Win The Woodlawn Innovation Network

WIN is a partnership between Birmingham City Schools and Woodlawn Foundation Community Partners designed to transform Woodlawn High School and its four feeder schools into a dynamic, 21st century system where every student has the opportunity to graduate with up to 60 hours of college credit or an associate degree. 2014 was the inaugural year for WIN, and we are thrilled at the tremendous potential this initiative holds.

  • Oliver Elementary
  • Avondale Elementary
  • Hayes K-8
  • Putnam Middle School

Jones Valley Teaching Farm opened student-run farm labs in Oliver and Avondale Elementary Schools. These farm labs will expand to include all WIN schools in 2015.

Farm Lab Photos

Feasibility Study Performed in 2014

$7.1 million capital campaign for cradle-to-career education, including our new Child Development & Family Success Center, prepared for launch in 2015.

Tutor helping a student with his schoolwork

Woodlawn High School


Graduation Rate Increase over 2013

Woodlawn High School (WHS) is a Title I school with 100% of its students qualifying for free and reduced-price lunch during the 2014-2015 academic year. In 2013, only 15% of WHS students scored above the 50th percentile in the English portion of the PLAN assessment and only 5% of students scored above the 50th percentile in the mathematics portion of the test. According to the Alabama State Department of Education, the 2014 Cohort Graduation Rate was 78% at WHS.

Summer Bridge Program

15% of 9th and 10th graders participated in our Summer Bridge Program, a hands-on, real-world education program led by professors and industry professionals at UAB and Lawson State.

25% of seniors are taking college courses

2015 Graduating Class

Enlisted the leadership of EdWorks

In order to accomplish our mission, we have enlisted the leadership of nationally respected Ohio-based education consultants / school turnaround specialists, EDWorks. EDWorks, a subsidiary of KnowledgeWorks, has had proven success in transforming poorly performing urban schools throughout the country into high-quality institutes of learning. EDWorks believes that every child can succeed in college and in the workplace with the right tools, preparation, and support. EDWorks offers bold, innovative school designs that have been field-tested at high schools in more than 50 districts across eight states. EDWorks work closely with schools, empowering first-generation college-goers and traditionally underserved students to graduate from high school better prepared for college.

EDWorks provides technical assistance with school redesign, professional development for school teams, and coaching for school leaders. EDWorks was founded to help answer the national call for high school innovation in the 21st Century. In order for each WIN teacher to receive 80 hours of professional development per school year, EDWorks coaches travel to Birmingham to provide the following: a full week of coaching and development twice a month during the school year, a summer institute, and other support as needed.

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Next Steps

  • Improve literacy and math scores
  • Deepen teacher professional development
  • Expand Summer Bridge
  • Continue ACT prep
  • Deepen partnerships
  • Expand student workforce exposure

STEAM Academies nurture young students’ natural curiosity about the world around them. By focusing on ideas from the worlds of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) plus the arts (STEAM), children will be actively engaged in learning. Teaching and learning includes an energetic mix of direct instruction, exploration centers, and hands-on learning. Teachers will partner with local community experts to create engaging projects to help students understand how the world is connected by integrating concepts from science, mathematics, social studies, reading, and the arts.

The focus at the middle school level is on creativity, innovation, problem solving, and critical thinking skills. Teachers will implement new strategies to spark student learning, using an energetic mix of direct instruction, research, exploration, and hands-on learning. Teachers ask students to use the “design thinking cycle” to create solutions to real-world problems. Teachers will work with community partners to develop these real-world “design challenges.” They will need to use knowledge and skills from mathematics, science, and social studies as they consider solutions to design challenges.

Students will choose an academy: The Early College Academy of Business & Finance or the Early College Academy of Arts & Environmental Science. Students will have a personal learning plan, intense acceleration and remediation for college readiness, and an opportunity to earn from 2560 transferable college credits. All students will meet the state graduation requirements, earning four credits each in math, science, English language arts, social studies, and physical education.

“I think this is probably the most promising concept I’ve seen in public education in some time. It has great promisE. I think Birmingham will be an urban model.” State Superintendent of Education
Ed Richardson

Aerial photo of Woodlawn community

Community Wellness Caring for Woodlawn's Greatest Assets—The People

We believe Community Wellness is a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being. In order to cultivate the healthy neighborhood that Woodlawn’s citizens deserve, we are working with our partners to provide residents with access to important health services, wellness programs in schools, more green space, walking trails, healthy food, quality retail amenities, and more.

Community Schools Pilot Program

Community Schools are public schools that work with a wide array of community partners to meet the learning-readiness needs of students, create a safe and supportive school climate, strengthen families in support of education, and serve as a center of community advancement.

A community school is both a place and a set of partnerships between the school and other community resources. Its integrated focus on academics, health and social services, youth, and community development leads to improved student learning, stronger families, and healthier communities. On-site coordinators in place at Oliver Elementary and Woodlawn High School enable students and their families to connect to resources that will help them in their growth and healthy development. On-site coordinators conducted “needs assessments” for students, and the number one need identified was mental health services.

Smiling Woodlawn Schools student
America's Best Contacts & Eyeglasses

450 Student Vision Screenings

204 Referred for Treatment

Smiles for Keeps Dentistry

204 Student Dental Screenings

109 Referred for Treatment


41 Students Referred for Mental Health Therapy

29 Students Currently Receiving Services

Numbers are from one semester in one school. Our goal includes expansion to all WIN schools, serving more than 3,000 students.

The Purpose Built Communities Model

As part of our mission to revitalize Woodlawn, we have adopted the holistic Purpose Built Communities revitalization model. Co-founded by Warren Buffett, Purpose Built Communities was first implemented and proven successful in the transformation of the East Lake community of Atlanta.What was once a poverty-stricken, failed housing project is now home to mixed-income housing, high-quality learning centers, and a stronger, healthier community.

Community Concept Plan including single-family, commercial, multi-family, and educational construction

Concept Plan

  • Single-Family, Duplexes
  • Commercial/Mixed-Use
  • Multi-Family Housing
  • Educational

Partner Highlights

Christ Health Center

$429,225 Worth of Free Medicine Dispensed

Doubled the Number of Dentists & Medical Providers on Staff


225 Students Enrolled

This partnership between AudioState 55 and Berklee's City Music Network gives students creative and technical mentoring—as well as a chance at college scholarships.

The mission of the Desert Island Supply Co. is to give Birmingham-area students more opportunities to write and create. DISCO offers free writing and creative workshops for students ages 7-18, plus after-school homework help and in-school programs. DISCO also serves as a hub for creative community projects and events, and they opened a store in Woodlawn in November 2014.

The YWCA Woodlawn Family Resource Center

225 Students Enrolled

More than 47,000 hours of service performed for the Woodlawn community.

17 Oliver Elementary students participated in the Girls on the Run program in Spring/Summer 2014; all received financial assistance and gift cards for running shoes at Payless Shoes. At the end-of-season 5K, all girls who participated had a chance to sign a picnic table and write about how they felt. One of these tables was donated to Oliver Elementary to be used near the outdoor farm lab.

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Birmingham, AL skyline in the distance behind some residential housing in Woodlawn
Woodlawn Foundation Board of Directors
  • T. Michael Goodrich
  • Gillian W. Goodrich
    Vice President
  • K. Wood Herren
  • Leroy Abrahams
  • Dr. Marquita F. Davis
  • Braxton Goodrich
  • John D. Johns
  • Arnold King
  • Myeisha D. Hutchinson
  • Deakins F. Rushton
  • Robert A. Simon
  • Steven R. Spencer
  • Dr. Deborah L. Voltz
  • Dontá Wilson
Friends of Woodlawn Foundation
  • Beau Byrd
  • Kate Cotton
  • David Germany
  • Donna Hall
  • Lehman Harris
  • Wayne Honeycutt
  • Waymond Jackson
  • Natalie Kelly
  • Mike Kemp
  • Atticus Rominger
  • Pardis Stitt
  • Chad Steppe
Together we can make meaningful change
Young Woodlawn residents

Doubled Annual Giving $91,866—up from $44,565 in 2013

Total Annual Funding


Includes restricted and unrestricted giving.

Founding Partners

  • A+ Education Partnership
  • America's Best Contacts and Eyeglasses
  • Audiostate 55
  • Birmingham City Schools
  • Birmingham Dream Center
  • Birmingham Education Foundation
  • Birmingham Housing Authority
  • Birmingham Museum of Art
  • Birmingham Police Department
  • Christ Health Center
  • Church at Brookhills
  • City of Birmingham
  • Community Food Bank of Central Alabama
  • Community Policing and Revitilization/Cop Program
  • Cornerstone School
  • Create Birmingham
  • Dream Center
  • EdWorks
  • Family Resource Center
  • Gateway
  • Girls on the Run
  • Home Depot
  • James Rushton I Foundation
  • Jefferson County Health Department
  • Jones Valley Teaching Farm
  • Junior League of Birmingham
  • Lawson State
  • The Literacy Council
  • McWane Science Center
  • Mike & Gillian Goodrich Foundation
  • Oak Ridge Park Neighborhood Association
  • Operation Hope
  • Purpose Built Communities
  • REV Birmingham
  • Smiles for Keeps
  • South Woodlawn Neighborhood Association
  • UAB
  • UAB Nestle
  • United Way of Central Alabama
  • Woodlawn Neighborhood Association
  • Young Stars
  • Youth Serve
  • YWCA of Central Alabama
  • The YWCA Woodlawn