CLARKSDALE, Miss. – Coahoma County’s Delta Bridge Project recently announced a grant to the Clarksdale Municipal School District’s Pre-K program for $158,000. Pre-K has been a local focus of the school district for the past two years where the district has implemented Pre-K programs on its own aimed at closing the achievement gap by reaching children earlier. The funding will support the creation of additional Pre-K classrooms in George H. Oliver and Heidelberg Elementary Schools, and officials anticipate that the grant will also serve as a catalyst to help the district procure further funding from the state.
“The Mississippi Legislature recently passed a mechanism for funding Pre-K in public schools,” said Clarksdale Superintendent Dennis Dupree, Sr. “During the session, lawmakers allotted $3 million in funding to be awarded competitively for programs across the state, and this grant from the Delta Bridge Project should make CMSD even more competitive in that process. We are extremely grateful for their proactive work to improve educational opportunities for Clarksdale’s kids.”
“We are excited about the opportunity to expand our existing services to more four-year-old children in the district,” said Toya Matthews, CMSD Director of Elementary Education. “Our goal is to give as many children as possible a chance to receive an early childhood education and foster the academic development needed to become productive citizens.”
Coahoma County’s Delta Bridge Project is a public-private partnership between local organizations and hundreds of area individuals that is intended to coordinate community and economic development efforts in the county. One of the objectives that the project works toward is increasing educational opportunities for residents – a goal which the Pre-K grant supports.
“The Delta Bridge Project’s overall goal is to improve the quality of life for residents of Coahoma County,” said Lois Erwin, Sr. Community Development Officer at Southern Bancorp Community Partners which supports the Delta Bridge Project. “And one of the ways that is achieved is by supporting proven education initiatives such as quality Pre-K, because a good education needs a strong base from which to start.”
Expansion of the Pre-K program is slated to begin in August, while Teach for America teachers have already been hired for each of the classes. The school district plans to apply for the additional state funding in October.
The Delta Bridge Project is a community-led revitalization effort focused on improving the quality of life for Coahoma County residents through education, health, housing, leadership and economic development. For more information visit www.deltabridgeproject.com.
For More Information:
Contact: Lois Erwin (Delta Bridge Project) 662-624-5776 or
Dennis Dupree, Sr. (CMSD) 662-627-8500