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Mississippi Children Tackle Early Education Inequalities
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News Release

October 10, 2014
Jeannie Huey


Mississippi Children Tackle Early Education Inequalities 

MPB calls upon students to participate in Read for the Record®


JACKSON, MS– Children throughout Mississippi – one of only eleven states that does not fund a state pre-k program – will have the opportunity to raise awareness about America’s early education achievement disparities in a nationwide, one-day shared reading experience, Jumpstart’s Read for the Record®, taking place on Oct. 21 

Mississippi Public Broadcasting (MPB) is calling upon teachers, elementary schools and childcare providers to pledge to participate in Read for the Record® and show their support for Jumpstart’s mission of working toward the day when every child in America enters kindergarten prepared to succeed. 

Children in low-income neighborhoods, start kindergarten 60 percent behind their peers from affluent communities, according to research provided by Jumpstart.

“When children start behind, they tend to stay behind but, we can fight to change that,” said Maggie Stevenson, MPB Director of Early Childhood. “Read for the Record®draws national attention to the severe gap in early education readiness— letting people know, getting a conversation started— that is vital to improving the outcomes for these kids.”

In 2013, more than 17,000 Mississippians participated in Jumpstart’s Read for the Record®. MPB has set the goal of having 25,000 Mississippians participate in the campaign this year. 

For more information about how you can support MPB’s work in early education, or to get involved in Jumpstart’s Read for the Record® campaign, visit Read for the Record (

Mississippi Public Broadcasting (MPB) provides instructional and public affairs programming to Mississippians through its statewide television and radio network.  MPB enhances the work of educators, students, parents and learners of all ages by providing informative programming and educational resources.  MPB’s locally-produced programming focuses on the people, resources and attractions that reflect Mississippi’s unique culture and diverse heritage. Children’s television programs constitute a major portion of the daytime and weekend morning schedules.  MPB provides a valuable resource to Mississippians in disseminating information as part of the state’s emergency preparedness and response system. Since 1970, MPB has won over 400 national, regional and statewide awards, including Emmy®, Edward R. Murrow and Parents’ Choice® Awards. For more information on MPB, its programs, mission or educational resources, please visit

Jumpstart is a national early education organization working toward the day every child in America enters kindergarten prepared to succeed. Jumpstart delivers a research based and cost-effective program by training college students and community volunteers to serve preschool-age children in low-income neighborhoods. By participating in Jumpstart’s year-long program, children develop the language and literacy skills they need to be ready for school, setting them on a path for lifelong success. To learn more, visit