Six parents of pre-kindergarten students at Threadgill Primary School have furthered their education thanks to a grant from Second Chance Mississippi.
The nonprofit assists parents in preparing for the workforce. The organization covered the tuition expenses for five parents who took medical office assistant program courses at Greenwood’s Mississippi Delta Community College Center and one parent who took a commercial driver’s license (CDL) course taught in Indianola.
Those appropriations were part of the nonprofit’s $100,000 grant to the Greenwood School District’s early learning collaborative program. Half of the funds went toward the education of the district’s pre-K students; the latter half funded the parents’ continuing education courses.
The parents earned certificates of completion in May.
“It was pretty good for me,” Terence Ewing said of the CDL course he took. He earned a permit and must take a second course for his license.
One of his daughters attends Threadgill Primary, which allowed him to take the permit course for free.
Currently a factory worker, Ewing said he’s getting burned out with his current line of work and is welcoming the chance for a change in direction.
“I like the feel of traveling. I like the experience of being on the road,” he said.
After he gets his license and is employed as a truck driver, Ewing said he should be able to provide better financial opportunities for his two daughters and two sons, leading to a more stable life.
Maessa Washington, who took a course to earn a medical administrative office license, also appreciated the opportunity to broaden her employment opportunities, or as she said, “to try something different.”
She currently is in the teaching field. “I’m already working with kids. I think it’ll be good to venture out to work in the community,” Washington said.
“We do believe if parents are successful, their children will be as well. I hope other parents in the future use this opportunity,” said Dr. Jennifer Wilson, the district’s superintendent.
“Lead by example,” Ewing chimed in.
This is the second year Second Chance has awarded the district a grant in which the money had to be evenly split between funding for pre-K students and their parents.
Though the Greenwood School District will cease to exist come July when it and the Leflore County School District merge to form the Greenwood Leflore Consolidated School District, Wilson said she’s hopeful that funding for the program will continue.
“Because funding is there for continuation, it should continue for the 2019-2020 school year,” Wilson said, explaining that Second Chance donated the money rather than have school districts apply for it.