Woman seated on building steps with baskets of learning materials

COLUMBUS, Miss.– Mississippi University for Women’s School of Education student organization Mississippi Professional Educators chooses one service project annually. Before the summer began, MPE decided to help Pre-K through fifth grade students within Lowndes County.

Through a “Laundry & Literacy” service project, the student members of the organization prepared baskets containing literacy and math materials and activities for local students. W students went to local laundry mats to deliver baskets to families waiting on their laundry in hopes that it would reduce the “summer slide” learning loss.

MPE chooses different service projects every year. However, the residents of Columbus and the surrounding community still have the tools to help the young minds and prevent the loss of knowledge during the summer break. The reactions of the young students showed the thought made a difference.

“While we were dropping off the materials, young children were already smiling while digging into the free resources,” said Rose M Ford, instructor and Jumpstart Program site manager for the School of Education at The W.

Woman enters laundromat with basket of learning materials

The Columbus-Lowndes County Public Library offers students many summer activities and initiatives that encourage learning and literacy. In addition, the community has resources to help the young students, and The W has programs geared toward helping the community, such as The W’s Jumpstart program.

“This program serves the community by volunteering within early-childhood learning centers, assisting young learners in literacy, language and social-emotional skills. Our mission is to ensure all children are equipped with kindergarten-readiness skills for learning success,” said Ford.

“W Jumpstart members earn financial benefits (federal work-study, if eligible, and an educational award of $1,300) to compensate for their volunteer community service. Recruitment for next year’s program is in progress now, so students that are interested can contact me to apply at rmford@muw.edu.” said Ford.

Other programs, such as Mission Acceleration, a pilot program offered throughout the year, are created to help young students. They are looking to recruit tutors that will positively influence the academic outcomes in reading for students K-5. The program was designed to support those affected academically by losing instructional time due to COVID-19. For more information, please contact Karen Hillis at klhillis@olemiss.edu or Ashley Sheils at missionacceleration@gmail.com.

July 21, 2022

About The W

Located in historic Columbus, Mississippi, The W was founded in 1884 as the first state-supported college for women in the United States. Today, the university is home to 2,227 students in more than 70 majors and concentrations and has educated men for 40 years. The university is nationally recognized for low student debt, diversity and social mobility which empowers students to BE BOLD.

Be Bold. Tower with Blue.