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MGCCC student Meghan Nguyen named National Pearson Scholar

Meghan-Nguyen-JC-Campus-502-1-200x300 MGCCC student Meghan Nguyen named National Pearson ScholarMeghan Nguyen, a student at Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College’s Jackson County Campus, has been named a Pearson Scholar. Only 10 students in the nation were awarded the scholarship. The scholarship is worth $1,000 for her second year at MGCCC and $2,000 for two years at a university of her choice (total $5,000). Awarded through Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society, the scholarship includes a Pearson employee professional mentor for Nguyen and free access to all of Pearson’s educational materials. Nguyen, from Ocean Springs, will start her sophomore year at MGCCC this month. She is a member of the Jackson County Campus PTK chapter leadership team and campaigned for and won the regional officer position of Southern District Representative this past spring. She plans to major in chemical engineering after transferring to a Mississippi university next year and is already involved in organizations like the Society of Women Engineers and American Institute of Chemical Engineers. She is also receiving the Academic Excellence Scholarship and Honors College Scholarship at MGCCC. Active in campus events, she is a member of the Honors College, Student Government Association, the Oaks Club and served as a member of the Reflections Team last year. “One of my favorite parts of being at MGCCC is participating as a student ambassador,” she said. “I enjoy sharing all the great things that the college has to offer with new students and prospective students. I’m glad I decided to attend Gulf Coast first before going to a university and I want to share what great opportunities are here with others.”

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Moss Point Tapped for Top Award

IMG_3316-150x150 Moss Point Tapped for Top AwardOn July 24-27, the Mississippi Association for Career and Technical Education (MS ACTE) held its annual summer conference in Jackson, MS. During the conference, the Moss Point School District’s Robotics Engineering program was awarded the 2018 Mississippi Outstanding Program of the Year Award. This award was created to recognize outstanding Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs throughout the state of Mississippi with well-qualified instructor(s) who exemplify the highest standards, work cooperatively with business leaders and local organizations, make extraordinary contributions to the field of career and technical education, and conduct activities that help promote and expand career and technical education programs. “The City of Moss Point is blessed to be such a tight-knit community with some of the most talented students and teachers in Mississippi. I feel honored to receive this award on behalf of their hard work,” said Mr. Billy Carroll.
 
Mr. Billy Carroll is the instructor of the Robotics Engineering program and coach of the Moss Point STEM Team. Dr. Durand Payton serves as the Director of the Moss Point Career and Technical Education Center and authored the initial $200,000.00 grant that funded the Moss Point Robotics Engineering program back in 2015.
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Moss Point Tapped for Top Award

On July 24-27, the Mississippi Association for Career and Technical Education (MS ACTE) held its annual summer conference in Jackson, MS. During the conference, the Moss Point School District’s Robotics Engineering program was awarded the 2018 Mississippi Outstanding Program of the Year Award.

This award was created to recognize outstanding Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs throughout the state of Mississippi with well-qualified instructor(s) who exemplify the highest standards, work cooperatively with business leaders and local organizations, make extraordinary contributions to the field of career and technical education, and conduct activities that help promote and expand career and technical education programs.

“The City of Moss Point is blessed to be such a tight-knit community with some of the most talented students and teachers in Mississippi. I feel honored to receive this award on behalf of their hard work,” said Mr. Billy Carroll. Mr. Billy Carroll is the instructor of the Robotics Engineering program and coach of the Moss Point STEM Team.

The Robotics Engineering program is a two-year CTE program based at the Moss Point Career & Technical Education Center.  Students must complete the program by enrolling in the program, typically in the 10th grade, for two school years (Robotics Engineering I and Robotics Engineering II).   Program goals are to create student interest in STEM, give high school students an introduction to STEM-based careers, and better prepare students to pursue a STEM degree or career upon graduation from high school.

Dr. Durand Payton serves as the Director of the Moss Point Career and Technical Education Center and authored the initial $200,000.00 grant that funded the Moss Point Robotics Engineering program back in 2015.

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2nd Annual Uniform Closet Distribution Event

image001 2nd Annual Uniform Closet Distribution Event

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Pascagoula, MS—The Junior Auxiliary of Pascagoula-Moss Point is having its 2nd Annual Uniform Closet on Thursday, July 26th, from 3:00 to 7:00 p.m.  It will be held at the Family Interactive Center (1415 Skip Avenue, Pascagoula).  Through generous community donations and the assistance of Brass Hanger Cleaners, the ladies of Junior Auxiliary would like to invite the communities of Gautier, Pascagoula and Moss Point to the second annual, school-approved uniform distribution.  All items will be distributed free of charge, sizes available depending on donations received.  For more information please call 228-209-0971. 

“This event is a direct response to a community need to provide assistance to families in need of school uniforms.  Through community donations, the help of Brass Hanger Cleaners and the Pascagoula-Gautier School District, we are excited to hold the 2018 Uniform Closet distribution event. 

In 2017, Junior Auxiliary of Pascagoula-Moss Point distributed 1,000 individual uniform pieces which benefitted 200 students, at no expense to the families!  We have had a great response this year, and we look forward to the event on July 26th,” said Erin Marks, RN, QuadMed, and Junior Auxiliary Uniform Closet Chairman & Board Member.

Junior Auxiliary is a national non-profit organization that encourages its members to render charitable services which are beneficial to the general public with particular emphasis on children.  Junior Auxiliary of Pascagoula-Moss Point was chartered by a group of caring, enthusiastic women in 1966, and continues to grow and thrive throughout Jackson County.  Volunteers work tirelessly throughout the year on a variety of projects that focus on local children and families in need of assistance.  Junior Auxiliary of Pascagoula-Moss Point is a part of the National Association of Junior Auxiliaries (NAJA), a non-profit organization founded in 1941 with Headquarters in Greenville, MS. NAJA has 15,320 active, associate, and life members in 97 chapters in Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, and Tennessee.  Junior Auxiliary chapters are working more than ever before to increase awareness of children and the benefits of caring today to create character tomorrow. 

For more information on Junior Auxiliary of Pascagoula-Moss Point visit www.japmp.org or call 228-334-1320.  For more information on NAJA, visit www.najanet.org.

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Beginning of school year often reveals child abuse, neglect

1 Beginning of school year often reveals child abuse, neglect

The end of summer and the start of a new school year is an exciting time for most children. But for some, the beginning of school could reveal a dark secret when signs of abuse and neglect these children have suffered over the summer are noticed by teachers, staff and other parents.

“Because children are subject to less adult supervision over the summer, it’s not uncommon for reports of suspected abuse and neglect to spike at the start of the school year,” said Frances Allsup, Executive Director for Jackson County CASA, Inc.

Many of the children who are confirmed as victims are removed from their homes and placed into foster care—often far from their friends, families and schools. CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) volunteers from Jackson County CASA are specially screened and trained to speak up for abused and neglected children who, through no fault of their own, end up in the foster care system.

“Being uprooted from their homes and families is scary for these children. We at Jackson County CASA want to make sure that they do not get lost in the overburdened foster care system,” Frances Allsup said. “For that reason, we need more people in our community to speak up and make sure these children’s voices are heard. We want to help ensure that their stay in foster care is as short as possible and that they are placed in safe, loving homes quickly so they can begin to heal.”

There are 275 children in the child protection system in Jackson County, and only 120 CASA volunteers to advocate for their best interests.

“Too many children are forced to go through the chaos of moving through the child protection system alone,” Frances Allsup said. “Jackson County CASA needs more volunteers to step up and be a voice for children who desperately need them.”

Julia Noble has been a CASA volunteer for 4 years. As a CASA volunteer, she advocates for children’s needs in court and in the child welfare system. She helps them through their struggles in foster care. Julia’s number one goal is to help the children find a safe, loving family.

“We need more dedicated CASA volunteers like Julia to walk with children every step of the way and ensure that they are placed into safe, permanent homes as quickly as possible,” Allsup said.

This school year, become a CASA volunteer and help children in need find safe, permanent homes. For more information, visit www.jccasa.net or give us a call at 228-762-7370. The next training is scheduled to begin August 13, 2018. Contact us today to find out how you can become a voice for a child in foster care.

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Put Old School Learning Depot On Your Back-to-School List

IMG_1833 Put Old School Learning Depot On Your Back-to-School List

PASCAGOULA–Parents, are you ready to send your kids back to school but dreading the nightly struggle over their homework?

If you answered “Yes,” you may want to look at Pascagoula’s Old School Learning Depot on Market Street to take some of the load off your shoulders.

Their slogan is “We Build Confidence,” and the staff do it through one-on-one tutoring, group Homework  Help sessions and fun, yet educational, activities  for school-age students of all age groups.

They don’t take a summer break, either. July’s schedule has been jam-packed with events like “Meteorologist Monday” and “Pizza Party Fractions.”

After a two-month break from school, it’s not uncommon for students to lose some of their previous achievement gains, a phenomenon educators know as the “summer slide,” said owner Christina Bates.

“We’re just trying to close that gap and let them have that confidence when they go in that first day of school,” said Bates, a former teacher in the Pascagoula-Gautier School District.

When the school year starts back up, Old School Learning Depot will continue with regular Homework Help sessions and individual tutoring sessions. Bates said ACT prep will kick off soon, and she wants to start study groups for high school students.

Bates offers tutoring for all subjects, and promises that if she can’t tutor the subject herself, she will find someone who can. Services are available for students who are struggling and for advanced students, too.

One of the main benefits is simply that your child receives a little extra help from someone who understands the curriculum used in the classroom, Bates said. It takes the pressure off of parents, many of whom may feel overwhelmed trying to understand material that is taught differently than it was when they were in school.

Bates has success stories:  The student who boosted his grades from F’s to A’s and B’s when he regularly attended sessions. The relieved moms and dads who post their success stories on her company’s Facebook page. The boy who returned from an educational summer session and called it the “best three hours” of his life.

“Just hearing that confirmation and hearing that students actually enjoy being here and they want to come back, that’s something that just warms my heart,” Bates said. “That’s what education is all about.”

For more information about services offered and pricing, visit https://oldschoollearningdepot.com/. Old School Learning Depot also sells boutique-style school gear, school supplies and classroom materials for teachers.

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A Journey to Autism Awareness

IMG_1818 A Journey to Autism Awareness

Each year, approximately 1 in 68 children in the U.S. are diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). While ASD is widely known today, a Vancleave mother remembers a time when  most Mississippians knew little about the disorder.  

Ganda Greer embarked on her journey of ASD awareness after noticing her daughter, Erin, was not developing like other children her age. “Erin is almost 19…when she was diagnosed, we already knew something was going on. I had speech therapy with her at 18 months old, but she did not have the diagnosis of autism yet. The awareness of autism was not big at all,” says Greer.

IMG_1818 A Journey to Autism Awareness

As a pediatric nurse, Mrs. Greer realized she would need to do research to find answers. “I had a sister in law who is a special ed teacher. We went to a conference in New Orleans. This was all on my own. I got no help or information from any kind of outside group. I implemented a lot of the things that I learned from the conference for Erin, such as: certain movements would help her brain function better. I bought her a trampoline. Things that I thought helped her.”

When they first started working with Erin, there weren’t any local programs to address autism.

As the years went on, more information on treatment and how to get therapy became available. Greer says today, because of the autism clinic in D’Iberville, and other treatment facilities, people who otherwise would have no knowledge of ASD treatment, are able to get services.  

Additionally, some Mississippi insurance companies started paying for autism programs. When the D’Iberville clinic first opened, Greer says she was excited to find out what programs were offered. She says many families have gone bankrupt trying to get therapy for their children. “It was exciting… when Mississippi insurance companies were starting to pay for the program,” says Greer. “There were no programs insurance would cover when Erin was little.”

Mrs. Greer feels autism awareness in Jackson County has grown rapidly in recent years. She says when Erin was young, most school systems didn’t know how to serve an autistic child. Now, the awareness is so big, there are all types of therapy available.

She feels events like the Swing into Autism Awareness golf tournament play an integral part in raising awareness of ASD treatment. “I think it’s awesome. It’s actually making people hear the diagnosis.” Greer also adds, “if you notice your child is not developing, you now have resources to figure it out.” 

The Swing into Autism Awareness 2018 Golf Tournament tees off on July 28 at Shell Landing Golf Club in Gautier. For more information on Autism Spectrum Disorder, visit: https://www.autismspeaks.org

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Head Start – Just a few spots left!

School starts August 7th and Head Start is down to just a few spots! Apply online at www.jccivicaction.org quickly to secure your child’s spot. Head Start programs promote school readiness of children ages birth to five from low-income families by supporting their development in a comprehensive way.

Head Start programs support children’s growth and development in a positive learning environment through a variety of services, which include; Early learning: Children’s readiness for school and beyond is fostered through individualized learning experiences. Through relationships with adults, play, and planned and spontaneous instruction, children grow in many aspects of development. Children progress in social skills and emotional well-being, along with language and literacy learning, and concept development Health: Each child’s perceptual, motor, and physical development is supported to permit them to fully explore and function in their environment.

All children receive health and development screenings, nutritious meals, oral health and mental health support. Programs connect families with medical, dental, and mental health services to ensure that children are receiving the services they need. Family well-being: Parents and families are supported in achieving their own goals, such as housing stability, continued education, and financial security. Programs support and strengthen parent-child relationships and engage families around children’s learning and development.

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Pascagoula-Gautier School District Registration for 2018-19 School Year is Thursday and Friday, July 19-20

gautier Pascagoula-Gautier School District Registration for 2018-19 School Year is Thursday and Friday, July 19-20

The Pascagoula-Gautier School District will hold district-wide registration 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m., Thursday, July 19, and 7:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., Friday, July 20, for all returning and new students to the Pascagoula-Gautier School District. Mandatory residency and online registration verification at each school campus will also take place during these registration dates. All returning 5th-6th grade academy, middle and high school students may register at their respective schools. All returning kindergarten through fourth grade students may also register at their respective schools if residency has not changed since the previous school year. Parents of returning students need only to bring a photo identification and two proofs of residency. All new students to the district or any returning students who have changed residency during the summer, kindergarten through fourth grade, must register at the Pascagoula-Gautier School District’s central office located at 1006 Communy Ave., Pascagoula.

Parents of new students to the district should bring their photo identification, the student’s birth certificate, social security number and Mississippi Immunization Form (121 Form) to registration as well as two proofs of residency. Proofs of residency must be: driver’s license, automobile registration, complete lease for all apartment/Section 8 housing listing the parent’s name, or utility bills dated in the last 30 days. Parents must all bring a withdrawal form from the last school attended and an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) if applicable. All living-with forms must be accompanied by the person whom the family is living with, photo identification and one proof of residency. Guardians must present court documents before registration. For more information on registration, call the Department of Student Services at 228-938-6500.

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Jackson County Head Start Now Accepting Applications

Head-Start-Logo Jackson County Head Start Now Accepting Applications

Head Start is now accepting applications for the 2018-2019 school year. This is a federally funded educational opportunity which is free to parents. Your family must simply meet federal guidelines to be approved. Our teachers are consistently trained in the latest curriculum to help your child become ready for public school. Does your child have an IEP? We now have on staff behavioral specialists to help your child grow and learn. Your child will likely qualify! Hurry and apply online at www.jccivicaction.org before the mandatory spaces for each classroom are full. We have centers in Moss Point, Pascagoula, Gautier, and Ocean Springs. School begins August 7th, 2018. Don’t wait!

 

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