Making Resources Available in Indianola
Angela Wade had little time to talk at the recent Indianola Promise Community (IPC) Resource Fair. Once she learned that one of the tables was staffed by healthcare professionals from the Leland Medical Clinic, she made a bee line.
“I want to be an OB-GYN so I need to get over there and talk to them,” said Angela, 14, a Merritt Middle School student. “This fair really helps to give us a chance to see what we need to get to college.”
Even though Leland Medical Clinic staff were at the fair to offer free health screenings, Angela saw them as a good resource for her future. And that was the goal of the resource fair, said Marilyn James, who serves as IPC’s parent liaison and parental engagement coordinator
“We’re putting faces with programs so people can really connect to all we have to offer,” said James, who was staffing a table that highlighted Indianola’s neighborhood associations. “We want to show them that we’re about partnerships and that we want to come to them.”
Held in the Merritt Middle School gym, the resource fair was a partnership between IPC and the Sunflower County School district and offered a variety of information to students and parents about:
- IPC’s successful stable of summer camps
- Teen Pregnancy Prevention
- Entrepreneurship programs
- The Imagination Library reading program
- Daycare Services
- The Indianola Youth Council
- The BB King Museum and Interpretive Center
- Girl Scouts programs
- Available social services
“I really want to look around and see what kind of programs I can get into,” said Jaquabious Campbell, 16. “I’ve been involved in the entrepreneurship program, learning how to build and run my own business.”
Rev. Phillip McGee, executive director of the Sunflower County Ministerial Alliance Counseling Services, will be offering a summer camp through IPC for the fourth year. He said the need for such activities grows larger each year.
“We see the changes that these camps and services make in the schools,” said McGee. “I think the greatest change I’ve observed is in the behavior of students. Through character education classes that we have, students are learning to become responsible adults.”
Through its community programs, summer camps and service projects, IPC has cemented its place as an organization that has made a profound impact on the people it serves. The resource fair is both an introduction and a re-introduction to its many offerings.
“It gives us the resources we need to learn to be successful,” said Tyler Stevenson, 15. “I want to be a business man. I’m not sure what I want to get into yet, but I know I want to own and operate it myself. I’m glad for this fair.”
Said IPC’s James, “We’re all in this together. This fair is about the community working hand in hand, along with the school district, to move ahead and better ourselves. And it’s a buy-in to the Indianola Promise Community.”