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Creating Stronger Communities: The Power of Community Schools

In an era where communities need to be more connected than ever, establishing strong bonds among residents is essential for the collective growth and development of the community. One powerful concept for strengthening these connections is through the community schools model.  Community schools offer a variety of additional options when compared to traditional public schools. One key component of community schools is their focus on partnerships with local organizations, businesses, and government agencies. By collaborating with these outside agencies, community schools provide a wide range of services such as after-school programs, healthcare services, adult education classes, mental health counseling, and...
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PPS Receives State-level Systemic Change Grant from Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation

Share Tweet Share (JACKSON, MS, February 21, 2024) Parents for Public Schools® (PPS) is thrilled to announce the receipt of a significant expansion grant aimed at fortifying efforts to enhance public education across North Carolina. This $140,000 grant, awarded by Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation, will empower PPS to drive systemic change in collaboration with local partners, fostering a unified force for educational advancement across the state. With a steadfast commitment to equipping advocates at all levels---from local schools to school districts as well as at the state level---PPS will leverage its Parent Engagement Program (PEP) to drive impactful initiatives with...
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Mississippi’s Sacred Duty is to Educate All Her Children

This opinion piece by Reverend Johnathan Tullos has been featured in the Mississippi Free Press and other news media websites.  Rev. Tullos’ connection with Parents for Public Schools began in 2018 when he served on a panel discussion focused on the importance of keeping public dollars in public schools.    Mississippi native Rev. Jonathan Tullos is a United Methodist pastor currently appointed to the Americus Parish (Pleasant Hill/Salem) just outside Lucedale, Miss., where he lives with his wife Jessica. Tullos is a graduate of Asbury Theological Seminary in Wilmore, Ky., where he earned a Master of Divinity degree, and a graduate...
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Impact Report 2022 – 23

A message to our supporters The 2023 - 24 PPS Impact Report, "Building Bridges, Not Walls: Focusing on Collaboration, Understanding, and Unity”, highlights the unwavering dedication of PPS in fostering the role of families and communities in ensuring every child has access to quality public education. Over the past year, the efforts of PPS chapters have been remarkable in championing our cause. Their tireless work and commitment have significantly influenced our public schools and the communities they serve. As we embark on the next thirty years, we remain focused on our mission to guarantee that all children have the opportunity...
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Censorship in School Libraries: Protecting or Limiting Access to Information?

According to data released by the American Library Association (ALA), there were nearly 700 attempts to ban library books in the first eight months of 2023. From January 1 to August 31, the attempts sought to challenge or censor 1,915 titles, a 20% increase compared to the same months in 2022, the organization said. Last year saw the most challenges since the ALA began tracking book censorship more than two decades ago. Such censorship extends to school libraries where we are seeing the removal or restricting of access to certain books, magazines, or other materials. This might include materials that...
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Parents for Public Schools® Appoints New Director of Development

Share Tweet Share (JACKSON, MS, October 17, 2023) Parents for Public Schools (PPS) is pleased to announce the appointment of Sarah Beth Lardie as its new Director of Development. In this role, Sarah Beth will lead the organization’s fundraising and development efforts, driving the mission to new heights and ensuring a bright future for PPS. Joann Mickens, executive director of PPS says, “We are excited about bringing Sarah Beth onto our staff. Her knowledge and experience are just what we need to build our capacity and help ensure our future sustainability.” Sarah Beth brings nearly two decades of experience in...
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How Differing Political Views are Impacting Public Education

In recent years, the political landscape has become increasingly divided and these differing political views are beginning to have a significant impact on public education. From debates over funding and curriculum to discussions on school choice and teacher evaluations, political ideologies are shaping the way our education system operates. One area where political views are impacting public education is funding. Different political parties often have different priorities when it comes to spending taxpayer dollars and education is no exception. Conservative lawmakers may argue for smaller government and lower taxes, leading to less funding for public schools. On the other hand,...
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Parents for Public Schools® Receives $550,000 grant from organization founder, Dick Molpus

Share Tweet Share (JACKSON, MS, September 22, 2023) Parents for Public Schools (PPS) is pleased to announce a three-year, $550,000 grant received from founder and supporter, Dick Molpus. The grant focuses on the long-term sustainability of the organization by providing funds to add a staff member focused on development and fundraising. Additional funding will strengthen PPS’ national infrastructure and initiatives as well as its chapters’ work across the nation. Further, this grant will aid in building the organization’s capacity to continue its advocacy on behalf of the nation’s public schools. Joann Mickens, Executive Director of PPS, stated: “We are honored that our...
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PPS Announces Appointment of Five New Directors to its National Board

Share Tweet Share (JACKSON, MS, September 22, 2023) Parents for Public Schools (PPS) is pleased to announce the appointment of five new directors to its national board: Cindy Arriagada, Executive Director Assistant, NC Foundation for Public School Children; Stephen Brooks, Ed Foundation CEO, Alameda County Office of Education; Karen Harrington, Director of Student Services, Pitt County Schools (NC); Andrea Jones-Davis, Director of Course Gateway, Educause; and Thomas Reynolds, Attorney and Mississippi State Representative. In commenting on the new appointments, PPS National Executive Director Joann Mickens stated, "We are privileged to have these excellent volunteer leaders join us as we look...
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Summer Learning Enhances Student Success

Summer break is often looked upon with great anticipation by both students and teachers alike. However, as research shows, summer learning loss can be a major concern for many families. Studies have found that students can lose up to two months of progress in math and reading over the summer months. This “summer slide” can disproportionately affect students from low-income families, who may not have access to the same enrichment opportunities as their peers. This is where summer learning programs come into play. Summer programs offer opportunities for students to engage in academic learning and fun activities during the summer...
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