JACKSON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - Pascagoula-Gautier school leaders are rallying businesses, organizations and churches to get students excited about academics. The community-wide campaign is called "Be Great!"
The new school year got off to a rousing start in Pascagoula and Gautier. In a video on the district's website, you can see more than 1,200 employees grooving to the beat "Uptown Funk."
"We had a huge flash mob where all of our teachers were dancing, and it's one of the greatest videos ever. It's really a cool way to start the year, high enthusiasm," said Pascagoula-Gautier School District Superintendent Wayne Rodolfich.
That enthusiasm seems to be spreading into the community. Signs have popped up at several businesses in Gautier, spreading the district's theme "Be Great!"
"It's about reaching every student, every parent, every community member and finding a way for us to do everything better, work harder, be on time at a higher level, just to create this sense of anyone can accomplish great things if they're willing to work hard enough," said Rodolfich.
First Baptist Church in Pascagoula is showing its support for the campaign through prayer. The sign out front says the congregation will pray for all the students.
"Because we have a deep seeded love for the community, as well as for the kids, and without a doubt, they need a strong educational system as well as a strong religious background," said the Rev. Jay Cook.
For years, the church has shown a pattern of support for education. For instance, the church's Hemmed In Prayer group donates clothing and personal hygiene products to all the elementary schools every September.
"I just think it's an overall benefit. Anything good that you can do for children is always good for the community too," said church member Nelda Broom.
"The community invests in our education system, and we have to invest back in the community, and that's what we're trying to accomplish here," said Rodolfich. "It's just super exciting. These folks have always been behind us. They work very hard to support our children. They're all in for our community, and we appreciate them."
To get everyone pumped up about being great academically, the district will hold a community pep rally Tuesday. It is at Pascagoula High School, starting at 6 p.m.