Delta Health Alliance Receives $30 Million Grant from the US Department of Education for Promise Neighborhood Initiative
Delta Health Alliance has been awarded a five-year $30 million grant by the U.S. Department of Education to fund and create the Deer Creek Promise Neighborhood in Washington County. This new grant will allow Delta Health Alliance to continue and expand its programs similar to the Indianola Promise Community it manages in Sunflower County.
Bill Kennedy, Delta Health Alliance Board Chairman responded to the news by saying, “We are humbled to have been selected for this funding and grateful that Delta Health Alliance now has the opportunity to help targeted families in Washington County with programs that will improve academic achievement and health care.” According to Kennedy, the Deer Creek Promise Neighborhood will partner with the school districts in Leland and Hollandale, along with a number of other public and private organizations and agencies, to offer a number of evidence-based, coordinated programs that will improve student readiness, academic achievement, college and career preparation, and health care for students and their families.
The service area for the Deer Creek Promise Neighborhood will include the Leland and Hollandale public schools, the towns of Leland, Hollandale and Arcola, and the unincorporated communities of Stoneville, Freedom Village, Elizabeth and Tribbett. The population for this area is about 10,500.
Delta Health Alliance is in the fourth year of its promise neighborhood program in Indianola, and through its series of programs the number of kindergarteners who meet benchmark readiness scores has doubled, graduation rates have risen, almost three-quarters of children have a medical home, and more students than ever are passing the third grade reading tests. The promise neighborhood program is modeled after the Harlem Children’s Zone in New York.
According to Rev. Jesse King, superintendent of the Leland School District, “The Promise Community grant serves as an excellent resource for the students and parents of the Leland School District and adjacent areas. Being awarded a Promise Community designation is a shared vision of hopes, dreams, and aspirations for the emergence of the 21st Century leaders and learners.” His comments were echoed by Superintendent Angela Johnson of the Hollandale schools, “This is an amazing opportunity for our school and school community to set a path for growth and prosperity for our district and town.”
Kennedy offered a special thank you to the state’s congressional delegation, especially Sen. Thad Cochran, for their support of the project, along with state and local public officials in Mississippi who likewise gave their support, including State Senator Buck Clarke, who represents the Deer Creek area.
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