Community Foundation grant supports Public School Parents program in Philadelphia


Leigh Thomas, left, executive director for the Community Foundation of East Mississippi, and Becky Glover, community coordinator in the east central Mississippi area for Parents for Public Schools National organization.


Community Foundation of East Mississippi awarded a $3,500 grant from the Neshoba Education Endowment to Parents for Public Schools, Inc., the organizations announced in a news release Friday. 

Parents for Public Schools will use the grant to implement its Parent Engagement Program – Early Childhood Development, according to the news release. The program is based on research from the National Scientific Council on the Developing Child at Harvard University.

Joann Mickens, PPS’ executive director, described PEP-ECD as “an interactive curriculum that teaches parents and caregivers to use activities and strategies to support healthy physical, mental and emotional development during early childhood to ensure that children are ready to succeed in kindergarten and beyond.

“Our Early Childhood Development curriculum includes modules on brain development, emotional and social development, toxic stress, language, literacy and other pre-academic skills,” Mickens said in a statement. “Children start learning early from the very beginning of life. What parents do or don’t do can have a lifetime impact on their children’s interactions with others, achievement in school, and ultimately their future success. Parents for Public Schools recognizes the crucial role of parents in helping their children get the best public education possible. We know that all children don’t start school equally prepared for learning, and PPS takes special care to help parents understand, bridge, and overcome barriers that hinder their children’s success.”

Becky Glover, community coordinator in the east central Mississippi area for PPS, will work with the PPS-Philadelphia Chapter and others in the community to implement the program, according to the news release.

“We will focus on parents who have children as young as infants and up to four years old," Glover said in a statement. "Participants will be selected on recommendations from community and public school organizations or government agencies. We also encourage caregivers of pre-school age children to apply. Ultimately, we want folks who are interested and will actively participate, committed to attending all sessions, and willing to execute a personal engagement plan to use what they learn in this training.”

The timeline for recruiting participants and training is on hold due to health risks associated with the coronavirus pandemic.

“Because our training programs are highly interactive and work best in-person, we’ve had to take a step back momentarily due to rising numbers of COVID-19 cases in our state," Glover said.

She encouraged anyone in the Philadelphia/Neshoba Co. area who has ideas about how to safely offer this program in-person to reach out and offer suggestions.

There is no charge for participation. For more information, contact Mickens at 601-969-6936 or, or Glover at 601-207-0630 or

React to this story: