Books for Libraries

As librarian at Carver Elementary School in Indianola, Kathleen Chambers understands that literature can be the gateway to the world. But in a region where resources are slim and new funding from the state is almost non existent, she also knows that funding for new books is often just a wish. “Other than book fairs, [...]

Spring Fling, Indianola Style

Jasmine Reed didn’t know where she’d be during spring break from school if it had not been for the Indianola Promise Community. “I’d be sleeping, eating, playing on the iPod and even bothering my mother,” said the 15-year-old Indianola 10th grader. Instead, Jasmine and about 50 other Indianola students were busy attending IPC’s “Spring Fling,” [...]

“Teen Talk” in Indianola

Ten-year-olds sat with seniors. Seventh graders rubbed minds with 18-year-olds bound for college. Elementary students put pencil to paper with their peers from high school. Together, they brainstormed ways to accomplish one goal: improve their futures and the futures of those who follow them. “I feel like it’s a start toward making a real difference,” [...]

Youth Leadership Summit

Love yourself. Empower yourself. Express yourself. That message wasn’t given to Indianola’s youth by a teacher or preacher or parent. That’s the message that Indianola’s young people gave to their peers across Mississippi at the 7th Annual Mississippi Municipal League’s Statewide Youth Leadership Summit held the first weekend in March. “I understand the importance of [...]

Academic Navigators in Indianola

Shanekia Pembleton doesn’t carry a compass or maps or GPS, but she is a navigator nonetheless. And her job impacts the direction that hundreds of students will take in their lives. “They just need someone to help them, to guide them, to push them and to show them the way forward,” she said. “Everyone needs [...]

Working Together on Education in Sunflower County

When Louise Lloyd first came to Indianola ten years ago, there were 18 child-care centers operating in the city, she recalled.  Now, due to changing requirements and financial constraints, there are only twelve. “So we knew something had to change to be able to provide our young children the quality education they need to be [...]

Indianola Summer Camps

Indianola High School student Diqueres Schaffer gained character, learned about ethics and walked away with more self confidence. Elementary school student Eric McGowan added some “big words” to his growing vocabulary to take with him to 5th grade, and had a blast doing it. And LaCasia Smith, a bit on the shy side, simply learned [...]


A celebration means to observe a day or an event with ceremonies of respect, festivity or rejoicing. An Excelebration means to do it all with children in mind. Just ask Doris Wyms. “This is a great day,” said Wyms, a retired public health nurse. “Without kids in good health and achieving at the highest levels, [...]

Improving Child Care in Indianola

Listening to Tawanna Sophus describe becoming a certified instructor at Pooh Bear Child Care Center in Indianola is like reading a quote from A.A. Milne’s collection of Winnie the Pooh stories.  About her training, Sophus said, “It took time. It took effort. And I learned so much that I didn’t know.  What I do is [...]

Indianola Promise Community After-School Program

Chassidy Watkins and Jameshia Attaway are pals. Ask these Indianola elementary school students to name their most difficult subject and they’ll both respond simultaneously. “Math!” they say, laughing at each other’s identical response. But for Chassidy, 9, and Jameshia, 10, help beyond the classroom is found in an after-school program aptly named, “The Art of [...]

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