Posted on: May 4, 2015
INDIANOLA, Miss. — Katrice Warren was away at college when she learned she was pregnant. She decided not to go it alone and returned to her family and this rural Delta town where half the school-aged children live in poverty and attend some of the worst schools in the nation.
At the time Warren didn’t know the first thing about parenting, but back at home she discovered a Parents as Teachers program that pairs expectant or new mothers with experienced ones. She learned more about prenatal health, child growth and development, how to eat healthy and talk to her baby in the womb.
“It seemed like something I needed being a first-time parent,” Warren said recently while watching her now 2-year-old daughter, Madelyn, draw. “I didn’t know what to do.”
The program is part of the Indianola Promise Community (IPC), a federally-funded, community-based effort. Nationwide, there are dozens of so-called Promise Neighborhoods, or zones, that aim to offer a continuum of “cradle to career” services to lift low-income children out of poverty and improve outcomes for families.