HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - Hattiesburg city leaders and Hub City School District officials met with parents and daycare providers Tuesday night to exchange ideas about improving early childhood education in the Hub City. The goal of the first "Chat and Chew" dinner at the Sherrill Community Center was to form new partnerships which will improve the health of children from birth to age eight, and in turn, also boost their grades.
It's part of the city's E-3 (Educate, Enroll, Empower) Health Initiative.
"Education, healthcare, jobs, all of those things tie in together in having a healthy community," said Johnny Dupree, mayor of Hattiesburg. "And we can't only have a healthy community for adults, we've got to have a healthy community for young people as well."
"It's very key that students are nurtured, all their social, emotional needs are met, their health needs are met, so they can be cognitively strong and ready to learn," said James Bacchus, superintendent of Hattiesburg Schools.
A $250,000 grant last July from the National League of Cities helped Hattiesburg start its E-3 Health Intitiative.