FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 27, 2007
Contact: Joshua Hollis
Continuation Grant awarded to MUW’s Crossroads
COLUMBUS, Miss. – The Mississippi Department of
Education has once again awarded a grant to the
Roger F. Wicker Center for Creative Learning at
Mississippi University for Women to fund the
The Crossroads Program, led by
Ivey Ivy, is designed as a “comprehensive support
program” targeting seventh through ninth grade
students from Columbus Municipal School District.
The grant, a “21st Century
Community Learning Centers Continuation Grant,” is
in the amount of $211,989.
The goal of the project is to
provide a safe and enriching environment for
students outside of regular school hours, where the
students are further exposed to leadership
development, reading, language arts, and
mathematics. The students also make use of a
web-based literacy program called TeenBiz3000.
There are also weekly programs
sponsored by the Columbus Arts Council that allow
students to become experienced with oil painting,
music, drama, videography, and creative writing.
Two Columbus High art teachers
are also leading programs on culinary skills and
Students stay after school on
Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday. Students from the
Mississippi School for Mathematics and Science tutor
on Tuesday afternoons. On Saturday students travel
to the MUW campus and use the newly-opened Stark
Recreation Center. The students are able to swim,
play basketball, participate in relay races, or play
a game of flag football. Crossroads hired about 16
employees through the Office of Campus Recreation to
help with the program on Saturdays. Most of the
staff members are either MUW students or MUW staff
members and faculty.
During the first year of the
Crossroads Program, only students in the seventh and
eighth grades were served, but this year things are
“A group of eighth graders who had completed the
program last year wanted to continue,” said Ivy. As
a result, the program also includes a group of 11
students who are currently at Columbus High School.
Another change this year is the
heightened interest in the program. “We filled to
maximum capacity this year - that’s 100 students,”
said Ivy. Last year, she said the program did not
fill up completely because of the late start.
Crossroads also assists the
Adolescent Offenders Program and the Lowndes County
Detention Center by providing arts classes and
academic lessons. A therapist from the Community
Counseling office provides group counseling sessions
to students at the detention center.
The program consists of an
11-week fall program, an 11-week spring program, and
a four-week summer program. Ivy said there is a
definite commitment from the students, because just
like their regular classes, there is an attendance
policy with the Crossroads Program.
Ivy said the main objectives of
the program are to provide “academic achievement,
personal development and wellness, artistic and
cultural experiences, increased partnerships between
schools and community-based groups, and parent
Because of the grant, there is no
cost to the students in the program. For the first
two years of the grant, 100 percent funding is
provided. Each subsequent year, the amount of
funding decreases. Next year, if the program
receives the grant for a third time, the funding
will be at 80 percent. It will decrease every year
after that for the next two years, at which point
the Center for Creative Learning can reapply for
For further information regarding the Crossroads
Program, contact Ivey Ivy by phone at (662) 329-7159
or by e-mail at email@example.com.