Tips and Resources for Taking Care of Premature Babies from a Local Pediatrician

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November is National Prematurity Awareness Month, a time for families nationwide/in Jackson County to think about the health of expectant mothers and babies, and about how to have a safe and healthy pregnancy and delivery. 

According to the March of Dimes, Mississippi has the highest rates of premature births in the U.S. at 13.6%. March of Dimes notes Jackson County is at 10.4%, which is still higher than the national average. Having multiple births also increases the chance of prematurity. March of Dimes also mentions that close to 60 percent of all twins and more than 90 percent of triplets are born prematurely (before 37 weeks). 

Dr. Yolanda Gutierrez of Pascagoula’s Pediatric Care Center is one of the leading and most caring pediatricians on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. After completing her rotations through general medicine, Dr. Gutierrez discovered her passion for working with children and thus completed her internship and residency at the University of South Alabama Children’s and Women’s Hospital in Mobile, Alabama. Over her 25 years in private practice, Dr. Gutierrez has worked with a number of premature babies as her patients. Gutierrez shares some helpful insights on common myths and tips she gives to parents on premature babies and their care.

Myth #1: “Premature babies are the same as average-sized ones- they’re just smaller” 

Many people believe a premature baby can behave the same way an average-sized baby can. They think because they were born early that you just have to be more gentle with them. This is not the case at all. Care for premature babies is much more precise and strict than that of a non-premature infant. 

“Premature babies are born with immature lungs and come out with a number of different problems that have to be addressed not only immediately, but also long term”, says Gutierrez. 

Premature babies are also prone to developing infections because their immune system is not fully developed. 

Myth #2: “Premature babies can be fed like an average child” 

When your baby is first born, the healthcare team may give them fluids and nutrition through an intravenous (IV line) if they are extremely premature or have breathing difficulties. Alternatively, the doctors may decide that they are mature enough to take milk through a small tube that is passed through the nose into the stomach. Breast milk is the best choice for your baby. 

It is important for milk feeds to be introduced in a timely way – not too quickly but not too slowly – and your doctor will have the expertise to decide this. This progression must be very gradual because premature babies – especially those born at 34 weeks or less – are slow to cope with milk that goes into their stomachs and have more problems with absorbing nutrients. “It’s important to advise these parents on correct feeding and determining how much is too much and what exactly is the right amount for their child”, says Dr. Gutierrez. 

Myth #3: “It’s safe for premature babies to be around other people and out in public”

Parents of premature newborns face even more worries about their baby’s health. Due to immature immune systems that haven’t completely developed, preemies have an increased risk of catching viruses that may be nothing more than a nuisance for us, but can be potentially life threatening to them. Some of these risks can be avoided by understanding when it’s safe to head out with your baby or invite visitors over, and when it’s best to stay inside and away from the crowds. 

“They can’t be around other sick kids or adults”, says Gutierrez. “Viral illnesses are a top concern with premature infants and that is one of the main reasons why our clinic has 2 waiting rooms- one for babies and one for general”, she said. “Parents can trust that they don’t have to risk their babies getting sick from other children in the clinic”, said Gutierrez. 

Overall, it’s important for women to take care of their health and nutrition while carrying their child. “Diabetes, high-blood pressure, smoking, drinking and doing drugs are all factors that increase the risk of an early delivery and premature birth”, said Gutierrez. 

The Pediatric Care Center supports local organizations and groups within the community for premature babies. Gutierrez mentions how the clinic often donates to the March of Dimes and participates in fundraising events to help spread awareness and inform the community on premature babies. 

“The care we offer for the parent and child is state of the art in terms of excellent care”, she said. “It’s given with a lot of compassion. All of our staff love these children and have a passion for helping them”, said Gutierrez. The Pediatric Care Center truly believes that it takes a village to raise a child and parents need the combined teamwork of the family and the child’s pediatric clinic. “We want our parents to trust us when it comes to helping raise their children and make them feel like we are also a part of their family”, she said. 

For more information on the Pediatric Care Center, visit their website at pediatriccarectr.net.

 

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Mayfield Family Shares Story of Miracles for Prematurity Awareness Month

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Hanna and Matt Mayfield are familiar faces in Pascagoula, Mississippi. With Matt co-owning ‘Goula’s famous, Tay’s BBQ a lot of people recognize the family name and their deliciously famous menu items. However, they are also known for their survival story of their two little miracles.

November 17 is recognized as World Prematurity Day and serves as the focus of the March of Dimes’ Prematurity Awareness Month observance each year. The Mayfield family relates to this day as they recall the miraculous story of the birth of their premature twin daughters.

In October of 2011, Hanna Mayfield was taken into emergency c-section at USA’s Children’s and Women’s Hospital in Mobile, Alabama. Mayfield says there was no explanation as to why she went into labor so early, but prepared to face the reality of giving birth to premature twins. She was only 5 months pregnant at the time, barely mid-way through her 2nd trimester. 

Bowen and Taylor were born at 22 weeks and 5 days and were considered to be ‘micro-premies’- weighing even smaller than a typical premature baby. Bowen weighed 1 pound and Taylor 15.3 ounces. “Their lungs weren’t working like they were supposed to- it was a lot of treatment and things to keep an eye on every hour, every few hours”, says Mayfield. 

But the family decided to remain positive with lots of prayer and trust in the top-rated NICU center at Children’s and Women’s. “Every one of the doctors and nurses at the hospital are angels”, she said. “Being able to do their job with a smile on their face, while helping these parents is incredible”, says Mayfield. In fact, USA’s NICU center is one of the only local hospitals to give babies born before 24 weeks a chance to survive by putting them on a ventilator. “If we lived in any other city, we may have not been accepted into a hospital to keep our babies alive”, she said. The babies remained in the NICU for the next few months, with Taylor having additional complications and surgeries which kept her there for a total of 7 months. 

The challenge of having premature babies doesn’t stop at the hospital. After bringing the girls home, Matt and Hanna were given strict schedules and guidelines to follow to ensure they were being taken care of properly and would remain healthy. Parents of premature babies have to take caution when bringing them home due to their low immune system. “We couldn’t go out in public and they advised against bringing people around our babies”, said Hanna. “They even told us, ‘If you go out to the grocery store and come back, you have to shower and change clothes before you can even hold your baby'”, she said. The family had to be conscious of every move they made to ensure the girls’ health remained in good state. 

After many routine checkups, the girls caught up to their appropriate weight and grew to become wonderfully excelled children. The twins recently celebrated their 6th birthday last month. “They’re healthy, thriving in school, running around and taking dance lessons-perfectly normal little girls”, said Mayfield. “We could have easily had many difficulties with the girls, but we were fortunate they grew up without any problems”, she said. “I think it’s just being aware of germs, being mindful of their low immune systems and sticking to the plan the nurses and doctors give you is the reason for it”, says Hanna. 

According to the March of Dimes, 1 in 10 women will give birth to a premature child. Like the Mayfield family, many women, including those in Jackson County, will face the difficulty of having premature children. “It’s very easy to get down and depressed that you can’t hold your premature baby like an average-sized one”, says Hanna. But she encourages families who are facing this, “Keep your chin up, stay positive, pray and get your prayer warriors around you”, she said. 

For more information on World Prematurity Day or the March of Dimes, visit their website

 

 

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Chevron’s Fuel Your School/DonorsChoose.org Gift Card Winners

Chevron’s Fuel Your School program came to a close last week after successfully donating $50,000 to Jackson County schools to help teachers fund their projects with DonorsChoose.org. 

Last week, JaxCoHome asked Jackson County teachers to tell us what projects or items they needed for their classroom. These items could include a new microscope, books, computers- anything that encourages learning in the areas of S.T.E.A.M. Chevron believes that effective education including Science, Technology, Engineering the Arts and Math (S.T.E.M.) will foster bright young talent for the future workforce and healthy economic growth for the country. 

We had almost 30 submissions from teachers who needed a variety of items, but 5 winners were chosen who best fit the needs within each part of S.T.E.A.M. Each winner received a $100 DonorsChoose.org gift card to be redeemed on the site to help fund their project. Our ‘Science’ winner was Brieanna Bean with the Jackson County Technology Center. Brieanna teaches high school students interested in the healthcare field as a career. Bean’s project needs included hands-on science/life health kits that helped the students get a real-feel experience of working and studying in the medical field. “The kits allow them to see the enzymes working, as they would in the gastrointestinal tract, of the future patients these students will be taking care of; the actual work the kidneys do in filtrating the blood”, says Bean. “The seeing of the process makes the process of learning significantly easier”, she said. With the help of the gift card, Bean’s project became fully-funded, so the students dream of having these kits will now become a realityIMG_3464-300x225 Chevron's Fuel Your School/DonorsChoose.org Gift Card Winners

Pictured: Brieanna Bean’s Class at Jackson County Technology Center

Our ‘Technology’ winner is Mrs Oreta McMillan’s robotics students at Vancleave Upper Elementary. The 5th and 6th graders compete in robotics competitions with VEX IQ kits. “These DASH robots will allow our 2nd, 3rd, and 4th graders to practice coding and allow them to prepare for future robotics events”, says McMillan. “The tablets will allow them to download APPS to help them program and control the robot”, she said. After receiving her DonorsChoose.org gift card, McMillan’s class now needs $700 to be fully funded for their project. To donate to the project, visit this link: https://www.donorschoose.org/project/rocking-robots/2886977/?rf=page-siteshare-2017-10-ifproject-teacher_1452542&challengeid=252115

IMG_3464-300x225 Chevron's Fuel Your School/DonorsChoose.org Gift Card Winners

Pictured: Oreta McMillan’s class at Vancleave Upper Elementary

The ‘Education’ winner is Bridget Mudgett at St. Martin Upper Elementary. Mudgett’s Donors Choose project asked for a class set of the novel, Wonder, for her 5th graders. “My students love to read!”, said Mudgett. “They stay after school for book club, give up recess time to volunteer in the school library, and walk to the public library in a small town that’s not very ‘walkable'”, she said. With the help of the gift card, Bridgett’s class has also reached their project goal of $360! “We’re so grateful for this gift card! Now my kids can finally engage like never before”, she said. 

Our ‘Arts’ winner is Casie Duffy with Moss Point High School. Duffy’s class needed several iPads for her art class. “With this funding, it will allow my students access to art history research, graphic design experiences, and expand their capabilities as artists by incorpoarting a technological aspect”, says Duffy. 

Last, but not certainly not least, the ‘Mathematics’ winner is Lorraine Boleware and her class at Eastlawn Elementary. Boleware teaches special education, but is in an inclusion setting with the general education students. She primarily works with 3rd grade, (Reading gate) and fourth grade (MAAP) state testing classes. “These students must reach the same benchmarks as students who do not have special needs, but they are working and they are trying”, says Boleware. “I have found that the biggest hurdle right now is in multiplication facts for my students. I would like to use different resources that may help them increase their fluency and give them a firm foundation to build on for the rest of the standards in math”, she said. After applying her gift card, Boleware’s class still needs $500 to fund this project. You can donate to this project by visiting the following link: https://www.donorschoose.org/project/extra-help-for-success/2884074/IMG_3464-300x225 Chevron's Fuel Your School/DonorsChoose.org Gift Card Winners

Pictured: Lorraine Boleware’s class at Eastlawn Elementary

JaxCoHome would like to thank all of the participants for submitting their projects. “We are so happy we were able to help fully fund 2 of the 5 project winners”, says Chelsea Gee, a representative from JaxCoHome. “This opportunity would not have been possible if it weren’t for the people at Chevron and their consistent efforts to help their local schools”, she said. 

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Huntington Ingalls Industries’ Technical Solutions Division Announces New Vice President of Human Resources and Director of Communications

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NEWPORT NEWS, Va., Oct. 31, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Huntington Ingalls Industries (NYSE:HII) announced today the appointment of two leaders at its Technical Solutions division. Melanie Anderson has joined the division as vice president of human resources, and Kristine DiMarco has been named director of communications.

Anderson brings 20 years of multifunctional human resources experience supporting high-performance organizations in the government services, aerospace and defense, commercial and high technology industries. Most recently, she led human resources for the engineering business of KBRWyle, following KBR’s acquisition of Honeywell Technical Solutions, Inc. Prior to joining Honeywell, she held HR leadership roles of increasing responsibility for The Boeing Co., Harris Corp. and Raytheon. She earned an undergraduate degree at Michigan State University in German with a dual major in employment relations. She also holds a master’s degree in labor relations and human resources management from the same institution.

DiMarco is an award-winning communications professional who has been supporting the Technical Solutions division with special projects since its inception in December 2016. She has a wide range of experience through various communications, knowledge management and process improvement positions at HII since 2004. Her most recent assignment, which underscored her experience supporting aircraft carrier and submarine construction and maintenance, was communications lead in Technical Solutions’ Fleet Support group. She previously managed communications and information technology initiatives for SRA International and for the Office of the Secretary of Defense. She has a bachelor’s degree in communications from James Madison University.

“We have over 5,000 tremendously talented professionals in our Technical Solutions division, and we are committed to providing them the best possible programs and communications support,” said Andy Green, president of HII’s Technical Solutions division. “Melanie and Kristine bring a wealth of experience and leadership to this growing organization, and we are delighted to have them on the Technical Solutions team.”

Photos of Anderson and DiMarco are available at: https://newsroom.huntingtoningalls.com/releases/tsd-hr-communications-leadership.

HII Technical Solutions is a professional services business providing solutions to a variety of government and commercial customers worldwide. The division was formed in December 2016 when HII acquired Camber Corp. and combined it with HII’s existing services subsidiaries, including AMSEC, Continental Maritime of San Diego, Newport News Industrial, SN3, Undersea Solutions Group and UniversalPegasus International. Technical Solutions provides fleet maintenance and modernization, unmanned solutions and rapid prototyping, agile software development and network engineering, training systems, logistics support, nuclear engineering and fabrication, and oil and gas engineering. Technical Solutions employs more than 5,000 people working in 35 states and 11 countries, with mobile “fly-away” teams that support emergent situations around the globe.

Huntington Ingalls Industries is America’s largest military shipbuilding company and a provider of professional services to partners in government and industry. For more than a century, HII’s Newport News and Ingalls shipbuilding divisions in Virginia and Mississippi have built more ships in more ship classes than any other U.S. naval shipbuilder. HII’s Technical Solutions division provides a wide range of professional services through its Fleet Support, Integrated Missions Solutions, Nuclear & Environmental, and Oil & Gas groups. Headquartered in Newport News, Virginia, HII employs nearly 37,000 people operating both domestically and internationally. For more information, visit:

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Chevron and Fab Lab Unit Deliver Supplies to Houston

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The Jackson County Fab Lab mobile unit is being used for more than just educational purposes. On October 20th, the Fab Lab trailer was packed full of cleaning, safety and toiletry supplies and made its journey to Houston, Texas to help benefit the people who are still affected from Hurricane Harvey. 

Earlier this year, Chevron and Fab Lab partnered to create the unit to provide students and aspiring inventors in the area the resources to create, experiment and build their skills in STEAM. The Fab Lab provides educational programming and opportunities to advance STEAM education, human centered design, collaborative projects and the creative economy, connecting people and creating opportunities for learning, research, experimentation and business.

Scott Beebe, Fab Lab Manager, saw the perfect opportunity to utilize the trailer and partner with the Fab Lab in Houston to help pass out the supplies within the area. The donations were collected from Jackson County school district students and teachers. Vancleave, St.Martin and East Central schools collected goods for a month to help fill the Fab Lab unit. A parent of a teacher at St. Martin also donated 400 purses filled with personal toiletry items. 

“I wanted to personally be involved and give back to a community who once gave to us”, said Scott Beebe. “We wanted our people to help a not-so local community that was in need”, he said.

The Fab Lab unit delivered the items to BakerRipley, a non-profit dedicated to connecting low-income families and individuals to opportunity so they can achieve the life they’ve imagined. BakerRipley has also partnered with Chevron and the Fab Foundation and is planning to open their own Fab Lab next summer, which will make the tenth mobile unit within the organization. 

“It’s a big deal to have the Jackson County Fab Lab partner with BakerRipley to help these families who were affected by the flooding”, says Brent Richardson with BakerRipley. “It’s a great support to have friends we can count on at another Fab Lab”, he said. 

 

 

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Local Judges to Be Featured at JaxCoHome Gumbo Contest

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On Wednesday, JaxCoHome will be hosting Jackson County Fair’s First Gumbo Cook-off. The competition will be held at the JaxCoHome booth (booth 2) underneath the food pavilion at the fairgrounds from 11:00-12:00 p.m., with the awarding to take place at noon. The competitors include the food booths who are known for selling their gumbo throughout the fair week. 

Three local judges are set to determine which booth will win the prized Golden Ladle. The first judge is Alan Sudduth, Public and Government Affairs Manager for Pascagoula’s Chevron Refinery. Sudduth holds a bachelor’s degree in Industrial Engineering from Mississippi State University, a Juris Doctor from the University of Mississippi and an MBA from William Carey University. 

Stacie Vande Wetering makes the second judge. Better known as ‘Cheffie’, she is the General Manager/Executive Chef of Singing River Yacht Club. She is also a F&B Ops Veteran and winner of last year’s episode of Guy’s Grocery Games. She started her culinary career with an apprenticeship at Perdido Beach Resort in Orange Beach, Ala. She lived in Atlanta for two decades and worked for two years in Manhattan. And she was the executive chef at Lakewood Club in Fairhope, Ala. Cheffie has worked in hotel kitchens, high-end restaurants and for catering services.

Last, but certainly not least, Alexis Bradley makes our third judge. Bradley owns the new restaurant in Pascagoula, Mississippi Sound Seafood. The restaurant is located on 1908 Martin Street and is already a huge hit among local seafood lovers. According to their Facebook page, the restaurant has a 4.8 rating and over 180 reviews of people raving about the ‘friendly staff’ and ‘lunch specials. 

Come out and watch who takes home the JaxCoHome Golden Ladle and will earn gumbo bragging rights for a year! 

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Columbus Day Is No Day Off For Singing River Electric

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Restoring power to the people of Jackson County is Singing River’s main goal after Hurricane Nate’s landing on the Mississippi Gulf Coast this past weekend. 

Power companies and their crews have been working endlessly to restore power to the more than 32,000 customers in South Mississippi who lost electricity due to Hurricane Nate, but there are still people without power in Jackson County.

Singing River Electric reported the 32,000 people without power on Sunday morning and today the number stands at only 344 people without power and about 300 of them are in Jackson County. 

The significant progress made can be thanked to the employees of Singing River, their co-op crews and contract crews. Singing River brought in an extra 300 employees to get the job done reports Lorri Freeman, a spokesperson for Singing River Electric. 

“It was a huge jump in man power and it allowed for the restoration success that we had Sunday”, she said. “Going from 33,000 without power to 1,000 in one day is incredible”, Freeman says. 

Crews have been working over 12 hour days to get power back to the people of Jackson County. 

“We’re extremely proud of our lineman, servicemen and employees from other co-ops across the state. We’d also like to thank the dispatch for scheduling outages, engineers working as supervisors for the crews and even the retirees we’ve brought in to guide the crews who aren’t from around here.” 

To report a power outage or any hanging electric lines please call Singing River Electric at 228-497-1313 or visit their website at singingriver.com

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What You Need to Know for Tropical Storm Nate

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Tropical Storm Nate is continuing to make its way across the Caribbean towards the waters of the Gulf of Mexico and is predicted to become a Category 1 Hurricane when it reaches the Mississippi Gulf Coast. 

According to WLOX, Nate is expected to reach land early Sunday morning somewhere between Louisiana and Florida, including South Mississippi.

As of 10 a.m., the entire Mississippi Gulf Coast is under a hurricane warning for Saturday night and Sunday, including the counties of Pearl River, Hancock, Harrison and Jackson. The National Hurricane Center issued the warning at 10 a.m. Friday. Parts of coastal Louisiana and Alabama are included in the warning.

 The storm surge watch has also been upgraded to a storm surge warning. The expected storm surge is between 4-7 feet.

A state of emergency has been issued in Biloxi, Bay St. Louis, Jackson County and George County ahead of the storm.

For continued weather updates, be sure to stay tuned into your local weather stations. 
 
The Coast was filled with many events and and festivals set for this weekend, but has since canceled or rescheduled due to the storm. Here are the updates with closures from the Sun Herald: 
 
Closures
  • Gulfport Music Festival will be compressed into one day on Friday at Jones Park in Gulfport. Ludacris, originally scheduled to perform Saturday, will perform Friday night after 3 Doors Down.
  • Pascagoula River Audubon Center is canceling all programming this weekend. Will reopen for Toddler on Tuesday.
  • Gulf Islands National Seashore officials will close all of areas of the national seashore including all Mississippi Islands to the public. All campers at Davis Bayou Campground in Ocean Springs must evacuate by noon Friday.
  • St. James Fall Festival at the church on Cowan Road in Gulfport is postponed until next weekend.
  • The Catholic Diocese of Biloxi’s 2017 Rosary Rally, scheduled for Sunday at Holy Family Catholic Church in Pass Christian, has been canceled.​​
  • The Lighthouse Arts and Crafts Fair on Saturday at the Biloxi Visitors Center is canceled.
  • Zonta Arts & Crafts Festival in downtown Pascagoula will be postponed. The 40th Annual Day in the Plaza will be Oct. 28.
  • Westminster Presbyterian Church’s Fall Festival and blessing of the pets, scheduled for this Saturday, has been postponed until Oct. 21. It will still run 1-4 p.m. in Bayou View Park, Gulfport.
  • The Gulf Coast Italian American Cultural Society annual Columbus Dinner set for Monday has been canceled.
  • The de l’Epee Deaf Center in Gulfport has rescheduled its Spooktacular event to Oct. 21, from 4 to 7 p.m.
  • The Walter Anderson Museum of Art in Ocean Springs is closed until Tuesday, Oct. 10, at 9 a.m.
  • The Humane Society of South Mississippi will close Saturday to evacuate the shelter and make room for anticipated strays.
  • The Jackson county Animal Shelter is closing at noon Friday and will remain closed Saturday.

Shelters

John McFarland, director of the South Mississippi Chapter of the American Red Cross, said local emergency management directors will announce shelter openings later on Friday.

George County Board of Supervisors has announced they will open two shelters at 4 p.m. Saturday to be run by the American Red Cross and Department of Human services.

  • Benndale Storm Shelter at 5207 U.S. 26 West
  • Agricola Storm Shelter at 3161 Cooks Corner Road

Jackson County Shelters

East Jackson County
18413 Highway 613
Hurley, MS 39555

Central Jackson County
5500 Ballpark Road
Vancleave, MS 39565

West Jackson County

13000 Walker Road

Ocean Springs, MS 39564

For Hurricane Evacuation Plan, visit the Jackson County website www.co.jackson.ms.us

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Chevron Launches ‘Fuel Your School’ Campaign at Pecan Park Elementary

 

Chevron kicked-off its annual Fuel Your School campaign today with a delivery of school supplies worth approximately $10,000 to students at Pecan Park Elementary School in Ocean Springs.

Public schools in Jackson County face funding challenges similar to those nationwide, resulting in many teachers spending their own money to purchase materials for their students and classrooms. To help alleviate some of this need, Chevron has again launched the Fuel Your School campaign – a fund raising effort to help provide critical education resources to Jackson County schools. 

Beginning October 1st through 31st, Chevron will donate $1 dollar (up to $50,000) every time motorists purchase 8 gallons of fuel or more at participating Chevron or Texaco stations in Jackson County. Community members can track how much money is being raised in their city, as well as see funded projects and feedback from educators who have been helped by visiting www.FuelYourSchool.com.

Through the Fuel Your School campaign, educators at public schools in Jackson County, Miss., will have the opportunity to apply for new materials to enhance learning in their classrooms.  Science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) related classroom projects will be considered for funding.

 

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Pay it Forward Friday: Lana Watts

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Lana Watts, a Pascagoula High School nurse, recently earned her National Board School Nurse Certification and was celebrated with a surprise reception. 

As administrators and staff gathered in the conference room, PHS Anthony Herbert called Nurse Watts to come to the conference room to “check his blood pressure”. When she opened the door, she was surprised to find her colleagues with a cake that read, “Congrats Nurse Watts!”. 

Nurse Watts has been a nurse with the high school for 3 years. 

“I really just enjoy helping the kids. I love being a nurse, especially within the schools,” says Watts.

With this certification, she is now specialized to work within schools and become an expert in school nursing. 

Nurse Watts is one of only 40 National Board Certified School Nurses in the state of Mississippi and the second one in the Pascagoula-Gautier School District. 

“We just wanted to show how proud we are of her and how much we appreciate her”, says Herbert. 

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