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Elementary & Secondary

Promise School is a rigorous summer session transition program aimed at improving academic, social, and developmental
skills for children who will be entering kindergarten in the fall. By employing and then offering supplemental training to Head Start teachers as the second teacher in the classroom for this summer program, the Promise School also improves the quality of instruction in those programs. Specifically, the program aims to improve upper and lower case recognition, improve awareness of print, phonological and phonemic awareness, develop appropriate receptive language and oral language for communication, improve self-concept and engagement in learning environments, and demonstrate control over emotions and develop positive
relationships with adults and peers.

Promise School participants outperform non-participants in kindergarten and first grade assessments. Overall, 85% of Promise School participants demonstrated improvement in literacy skills and 69% demonstrated improvement on math skills.

Academic Coaches & Teacher Development is a program developed in partnership with the Sunflower County Consolidated School District that provides educators with training and professional development. Teachers participate in job embedded professional development to effectively implement new state standard curricula as well receiving support to align and improve instruction with the present state standards and the ACT. Teachers are guided in the pacing and use of instructional materials that support state standards, state assessments, ACT, and Advanced Placement courses. Academic coaches assist teachers in the areas of lesson planning and instructional strategies, development and alignment of activities, instructional resources and assessments.

Children Are Reaching Excellence with Support (CARES) Mentoring Program is based in the elementary schools and trains volunteer adults to provide social and emotional support, through one-on-one interaction with children. The mentor becomes a friend, a confidant, and positive role model for the child. The goal is to enhance his or her self-esteem, to improve attendance and academics, and to provide intervention at an early age. For example, a child who has a strong interest in computers will be matched up with a mentor who also has a strong interest in computers. In general, the mentor is to be viewed as an adult friend and not as a teacher or as a second parent.

The IPC CARES program was the recipient of the 2014 Governor’s Partnership in Excellence award from the Mississippi Association of Partner’s in Education.

CARES works because the mentor becomes another source of caring adult support for the child. More than 150 K-third grade students are served by this program. Over the course of the last school year, mentors conducted over 1,800 school visits. In addition to in-school visits, mentors and mentees also participate in trips and social events outside of school. This past year, CARES mentors and mentees participated in over 30 events and trips.

IPC Fellows is a literacy support team that provides high quality, researched-based reading instruction and intervention
to struggling learners at Indianola’s two elementary schools. Fellows work with students by providing intensive instruction matched to their needs. These services and interventions are provided in small-group settings in addition to their instruction in the general classroom setting.

Positive Parenting Practices (Triple P) is an outreach program for parents. The initiative is designed to address and treat behavioral and emotional problems in children and teenagers. Triple P aims to prevent problems in the community before they arise and to create family environments that encourage children to realize their potential. More than half of Triple P’s parenting strategies are geared toward developing positive relationships, attitudes and conduct between and among children and their parents. Based on evidence from clinical research, the easy-to-understand and useful strategies call for the IPC case worker to meet in the home with the parents and children for up to 10 sessions. They observe interactions between parent and child, and
provide a valuable assessment to help families implement strategies for improvement.

Life Skills Training is a school-based initiative whose goal is to increase student knowledge about drugs, alcohol, tobacco, and self-management skills in order to help them adopt healthy attitudes and choices. The program targets the major social and psychological factors that promote the initiation of substance use and other risky behaviors. This comprehensive program provides adolescents and young teens with the confidence and skills necessary to successfully handle challenging situations, contributing to students’ academic success.

Reading Improvements for Success in Education (Project RISE) is an afterschool enrichment program that allows at-risk students and students with learning and reading difficulties to improve their reading skills by immersing them in daily spelling, vocabulary, grammar and creative writing activities. The goal is to build skills to help students become proficient on the Mississippi Curriculum Test and core subject exams.

Design Squad Global is an afterschool initiative that provides children with engineering projects to facilitate learned teamwork, creative problem solving, how to use the design process to express and develop ideas, and to foster an early interest in pursuing STEM careers.

Indianola Youth Council is comprised of Indianola students and is designed to provide them with lessons in leadership skills, civic engagement, and career building skills. It is a peer-to-peer program to engage Indianola youth in fun and positive relationships. During the 2014- 2015 school year, 18 participants completed pre-, mid-, and post-tests concerning leadership, diversity, and civic engagement traits and mindsets. Council members participate in community service projects where they work alongside community volunteers to help solve issues facing youth. For example, members organized and assisted with an Anti-Bullying conference for students at Carver Elementary. Beginning its fourth year, the Indianola Youth Council has evolved
into an organization that provides an important voice for the discussion of issues that affect young people, exposing them
to the nature and scope of city government and requiring a pledge to give the greatest possible service to the community.
Comprised of 22 members in eighth through twelfth grades in the current year, the council brings these young people into the decision-making process of their community.

Art of Living Smart is an afterschool enrichment program, provided in association with the B.B. King Museum and Delta Arts Alliance, which is designed to offer local youth exposure to art, music, dance and culinary arts in addition to academic assistance, 30 minutes of physical activity each day, healthy nutrition, and other activities to enhance physical, mental and emotional well-being. For example, third and fourth grade students took Art Appreciation, African Drumming, and African Dance. Fifth and sixth grade students took part in Videography, iPad Art, DJ 101 and Digital Media Arts.

IPC Summer Camps are multiple camps, designed and hosted by community-based organizations, that help kids continue to grow and learn during the summer recess from school, with a particular emphasis on reducing summer learning loss. Specific camps are chosen through a competitive application process each year. For 2015, over 480 students in grades K-12 enrolled in eight camps that focused on learning how to choose fresh, healthy ingredients and to prepare nutritious snacks and meals; art enrichment, drama and fitness training; touring historic Civil Rights sites; improving writing skills; and enhancing entrepreneurial and business skills. Last year, our overall retention of campers was the best in six years. Seventy percent of campers showed no learning loss in reading levels and word recognition over the summer, according to results of pre-camp and post-camp testing, and nearly three-quarters of campers met age equivalency benchmarks on post-camp tests.

Of 489 participants across all eight of the IPC camps, only 45 students dropped out over the course of the summer. Moreover, of the 120 campers identified as facing the most challenges with reading, 81% improved at a higher rate than other campers during the summer.