United Way hands out over half a million in grants to support li - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

United Way hands out over half a million in grants to support literacy programs

A special donation will help provide literacy programs to children in South Mississippi. (Photo source: WLOX News) A special donation will help provide literacy programs to children in South Mississippi. (Photo source: WLOX News)
SOUTH MISSISSIPPI (WLOX) -

A surprise donation Tuesday will go to support programs that help thousands of low-income children in South Mississippi. The United Way of South Mississippi handed out grants to ten organizations in Harrison, Hancock, Stone, and Pearl River Counties.The initial amount was $500,000. At noon, the United Way learned that an anonymous donor had pitched-in another $300,000, bumping the total up to $800,000.

They are tiny tots, but they already know their numbers and letters. Preschoolers start learning the moment they arrive at Moore Community House in Biloxi.

"We continue to read to them, increasing their vocabulary skills, their cognitive knowledge, their language skills, all of those things are so important. So when they get to grade school, they're already a step ahead," said Lywanda White, Moore Community House Family Health Services Coordinator.
  
Moore Community House is one of ten recipients of the United Way's "Community Impact Grant". The funds were awarded to agencies that help low-income children overcome reading challenges by focusing on school readiness, tutoring, and family stability. Moore Community House will receive $135,000 over two years. The money will support its Early Head Start Program, Extended Care Program, and other free services and resources for families in need.

"It was amazing," said White. "Childcare is so expensive and so by being a part of this program, and with United Way's help, they're able to go out look for jobs or working."

The Boys and Girls Clubs of the Gulf Coast will receive a total of $170,000. The funds will be used to set up reading centers at all five sites.

"Children can read and get tested for comprehension. We're also going to take a room and make it a center for them to sit and be able to read on their own," said John Pugh, Boys and Girls Club IP Unit Director.

 The goal of the grant is to target reading problems at an early age, so the little ones won't have to struggle later on.

 "We're honored and we're blessed to get a grant to enable our children to learn how to read and do a better job in the early stages," said Pugh.

 "When we are going after federal funding, they look at how our local community supports us. It's so important to us," said White.

Other grant recipients include: Gulf Coast Women's Center, Hancock Human Resource Agency, PreK4Ward, Hancock County School District, Manna Ministries, The Nourishing Place, Hancock Resource Center/Casa, and Climb CDC. The grants support the United Way's goal to have all students reading at grade level by 2020.

Copyright 2015 WLOX. All rights reserved.

 

 

Powered by Frankly