Volume 1907• Issue 50• July 2019
Two Graduation Ceremonies held in Batesville and Tupelo
The Family Resource Center /Families First for Mississippi North coordinates NLRO (New Learning Resources Online) in several counties across North Mississippi. Students taking advantage of the opportunity for a second chance at earning a high school diploma can select the closest center in which to enroll and pursue studies. All the instruction is online and can be accessed through any internet connected computer but the tests in each course area are proctored by professionals at one of the centers. When all course credits have been achieved, the students will receive their diploma. Since the program is statewide, students can choose the graduation ceremony location available and nearest their homes.
The 2019 graduating class ceremonies in North Mississippi were held in two locations: Batesville and Tupelo. Staff in both locations worked with the local community to secure an appropriate venue and to prepare the ceremony. The Batesville graduation was held at the Batesville Junior High Auditorium on June 6th and the Tupelo graduation was held at Itawamba Community College in Belden on July 16th.
"let's build 100 beds in one week"
Kids having a bed of their own is a problem in Mississippi for some. Bro. Stanley Huddleston, pastor of Mt. Olive Baptist Church in Baldwyn and Faith Coordinator for Families First for Mississippi (FFFM) discovered how great a need this was shortly after he joined the organization less than two years ago.
Families come to FFFM seeking help or resources in a variety of areas. Some come for assistance in the workforce program for help in educational opportunities or for help with creating a resume. Others bring children to the literacy program for skill improvement. Parents come to learn about safety with children in vehicles or to learn positive discipline techniques. There are also programs that can help clients research financial assistance in different situations and with many other needs. Regardless, all clients are assessed by a member of the social worker team during the intake process.
One thing that kept coming to light is that so many children have no bed of their own. Sometimes there were sleeping several in one bed or some were on pallets on the floor or on a pile of dirty clothes in a corner. This began Huddleston’s research for ways to improve this aspect of the lives of children and became the birth of the Beds for Kids program in this organization.
Over 380 beds have already been placed with families for the children who needed them. The week of July 22nd, with a list of those waiting for a bed growing, Mt. Olive Baptist Church of Baldwyn joined FRC in sponsoring a week-long bed building event.
“We love helping children and families,” Huddleston said.
A campaign brought in volunteers and the team was able to make over 130 frames. They also raised the funds for mattresses and bedding to go with the frames. One church contacted Huddleston and committed to purchase the 100 mattresses needed to go with the frames. Other funds coming in will go for pillows, sheets and coverings.
With a waiting list that already exceeds 50 beds, this week of long hours of hard work will put FFFM ahead of the demand and in position to manage the increasing number of clients who need beds for the kids.
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High-Five for Hygiene for BACK-TO-SCHOOL
The Family Resource Center of North Mississippi held a ribbon-cutting ceremony in Iuka at their new location of 236 Kaki Street.
The Family Resource Center of North Mississippi (FRC) held a ribbon-cutting ceremony in Iuka at their new location of 236 Kaki Street. Field Educator/Center Coordinator Tonya McAnally, Center Liaison Pam Morris and other staff members (including a wonderful group of interns) prepared luscious appetizers and rolled out the welcome mat.
Present for the ribbon cutting were many of the local supporting organizations, business leaders, county and city leaders, along with supportive citizens. They were greeted by Executive Director of FRC Christi Webb, Robert and Patti Coggins (FRC Quality Control and PR Liaisons), along with other staff on site from other locations. The general consensus of all the guests present was delight that FRC has opened a center in Tishomingo County, some voicing the great need for some of the services offered by the center.
FRC-Iuka will feature the Families First for Mississippi program which offers to the community programs in education, literacy, parenting, youth development, job readiness, re-entry programs with sub-programs to address addiction and other needs. This program is jointly administered across the state of Mississippi by The Family Resource Center and Mississippi Community Education Center (MCEC) of Jackson.
The center will the site for many classes in these pillars and will include NLRO (New Learning Resource Online) that provides the opportunity for students to earn a high school diploma. These students and all Tishomingo residents can also avail themselves of the job readiness/workforce training and guidance.
More information about these classes is available at