HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WDAM) - Several Hattiesburg Public School District schools were among those honored Friday at the 19th annual Governor’s Awards, which recognizes successful school-community partnerships.
Thames Elementary School, N.R. Burger Middle School, Grace Christian Elementary, F.B. Woodley Elementary and Hawkins Elementary School were recognized by the Mississippi Association of Partners in Education during the virtual ceremony.
“Our children need to see that there are different opportunities beyond just the limits of the city,” said Principal Teresa Merwin.
Merwin said partnerships and sponsors from the community help students see beyond the classroom.
MAPE is a nonprofit organization that helps connect schools with their surrounding communities.
“This is a great partnership that we have with this organization of bringing schools and businesses together and different community organizations as we partner to raise this village of children that we are blessed to have,” Merwin said.
One of the school’s sponsors, Jo Anne Andrews, explains how a dream she turned into reality is helping students at the school.
“We fill backpacks with supplies for all of the children who can’t afford it, and we keep supplies donated throughout the year so that the parents don’t have to keep rebuying supplies,” Andrews said.
Andrew said no child should have to go without when it comes to education.
“I do it because I don’t want any child to not have the best education they can possibly have,” Andrews said. “If a person can buy a pack of paper and drop it off at school or a pack of pencils, it’s more than the child had before.“
Thames Elementary, Hawkins Elementary and N.R. Burger also received recognition for their pandemic partnership response from Hattiesburg.