PASCAGOULA, MS (WLOX) – Pascagoula is now considered one of the top 100 communities for young people in the country. America's Promise Alliance, an organization aimed at improving the lives of children, picked the city out of 350 communities around America.
At Jackson Elementary in Pascagoula, students first and destination graduation signs crowd the outside the school.
"It is important that they understand we want them to succeed," Principal Victoria Hoover said.
Hoover said that support is evident in the Pascagoula School District. The district bought $4 million worth of technology for its classrooms, including computer software.
"Our children are used to video games. We are competing with a very technological world. We have to make sure we present lessons to them through technology to have their interests."
In the cafeterias in the districts there are no more fried foods for lunch. The focus now is on fruits and vegetables to fight obesity.
"We make sure they're feed well so they can learn well," Hoover said.
Those investments have helped put Pascagoula on the map as one of the top 100 places in the country for kids to live and learn.
Recreation Director Darcie Crew said the city spends a million plus a year on recreation for young people to have good, clean fun. In fact, the city of Pascagoula has 23 parks and recreational centers. The city also has playgrounds, a skate park and tennis courts.
"For the children, we want to provide places and reasons why they would want to stay in Pascagoula and give them good healthy outlets."
The folks we spoke with in Pascagoula said the national honor is another big boost to continue building on a great community for kids.