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Expanding Educational Opportunities

Helping Delta Students Obtain a College Degree

Ayanna Harris wants to be prepared for life’s emergencies. She wants to graduate from college with as little debt as possible. And she wants to be financially responsible in all that she undertakes. Call it a DREAM scenario. “What I’ve learned is that saving money is really, really, really important if you want to advance
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Early Childhood Education in the Delta

A simple greeting can mean the difference between a good day and bad one, and Kenya Raymond wants every day to be good. “It’s important to know how a person wants to be greeted, both parents and children,” said Raymond, an Early Head Start Child Care Partnership instructor from Moorhead. “It’s all part of interacting
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Gardening in Indianola

  The fruits of hard work take know-how to grow. The roots of that fruit, however, lie deep within a community. Ryan Betz and Marilyn James represent the best of both of those necessary ingredients. Betz is a gardener and project coordinator for the Delta Health Alliance, who just completed a three-week professional certification program
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Tobacco Prevention in the Delta

Indiya Cooks plans to enter the healthcare field, perhaps as a nurse, once she graduates from high school in this small Delta town. To accomplish her goals, Indiya needs all of her brain cells. “And I know that smoking kills brain cells,” said Indiya, a 17-year-old rising senior at John F. Kennedy Memorial High School.
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Childcare Providers Get a Hand Up in Sunflower County

  Johnnie Mae Rodney understands that childcare cannot be a one-size-fits-all arrangement. “To put a group of children all in one room, infants and toddlers, just confuses everything,” said the 18-year certified childcare instructor at Indianola’s BeBe Kids Learning Center. “Each age group is learning something different, doing something different, and they need their own
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Now accepting applications for the Sunflower Childcare Coalition

Now accepting applications for the 2016/17 school term. Home-Based Childcare. Center-Based Childcare. Early Head Start. Head Start. Spots are limited! Children with disabilities, families receiving TANF, children in foster/protective/preventive care, homeless families, deployed National Guard and teen parents in high school are encouraged to sign up. We’ve got great facilities in Indianola, Ruleville, Drew, Sunflower and Moorhead.

Community Gardens by Monsanto in the Mississippi Delta

SHAW, Miss. — Omarion Blakes looked at the beds of fresh dirt and talked with excitement about the spring to come. “When it’s all done, I hope everybody sees how hard we’ve worked and stops to take a picture,” said Omarion, 12. “I’m proud of it already and I can’t wait to see how it
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From the Classroom to the Market by Karen Matthews

There’s a New Garden in the Delta!  It’s called the Wiley Community Garden and its located at Delta State University, thanks to the property donated by the Wiley family in memory of Roy Wiley, a DSU professor emeritus. At the Wiley Community Garden, DSU Education majors are gaining valuable teaching experience in integrating classroom curricula
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Dolly Parton and Delta Health Alliance by Karen Matthews

One of our most successful collaborations has been with the Dollywood Foundation, funded primarily by Dolly Parton. It’s called Imagination Library.For every dollar we spent, Dollywood would spend two. For every child under the age of 5 we recruited to join the program, the Dollywood Foundation would mail him or her a free, age-specific-book every month, month after month. It reached into seven Delta counties, close to 6,100 kids signed up, and more than 239,000
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Reading by Dr. Mitchell

Reading to your children is one of the best gifts you can give them, and it’s never too soon or too late to start! Reading to babies and young children helps with the development of their brains and prepares them for skills in learning to talk, read, and understand. Studies show that early steps of
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