A federal agency is working to keep Mississippi teachers in the classroom by giving them a stronger voice in their schools and communities. Nearly one third of the school districts in Mississippi are experiencing a critical teacher shortage, according to the state Department of Education’s website. Most of the forty-eight districts are low performing and rural and have a difficult time not only attracting new teachers but also retaining the educators they currently have. But a new, U-S Department of Education program known as “Teach to Lead” is trying to get more teachers to stay in the classroom, by encouraging them to take a greater leadership role in the school and community. Emily Davis oversees the program for the Department of Education. She spoke with MPB's Paul Boger.
Fragile, pre-term infants now have a fighting chance, thanks to the state's first and only facility designed to process, store, and distribute donor breast milk. Mothers who are unable to produce their own milk are turning to the Mothers' Milk Bank of Mississippi -- a nonprofit organization that processes donated breast milk. The milk bank bills the hospitals in the state, and they in turn bill the qualifying donor milk patients. Right now, insurance does not cover this service -- something the Milk Bank founders hope will change. MPB's Maura Moed spoke with Tiffany Tyson -- a lactation counselor -- on the benefits of breast milk.
Toys For Tots is the annual drive by the United States Marine Corps to bring Christmas gifts to children across the country who might not otherwise have a Christmas. Lieutenant General Pete Osmond is president of Toys For Tots. He told us the gift-giving drive started with a single act of kindness.
What should school children be taught about Islam? In Florida and North Carolina, parents claim students are being - quote - "indoctrinated" with a sanitized version of the Muslim faith. One of the fiercest fights so far is happening right now in Tennessee. For the Southern Education Desk, Chas Sisk of WPLN reports, it could reveal the playbook for future battles.