The Hattiesburg Public School District’s efforts to expand literacy for students in Pre-K through fifth grade got a boost Oct. 13 at its monthly Board of Trustees meeting.
Hope Mikell, coordinator of Pre-K through grade five curriculum for the district, was presented two checks, one for $5,000 from the Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library fund via United Way of Southeast Mississippi, and another check for $5,000 from the Hattiesburg Public Schools Foundation in support of the Hattiesburg Early Learning Collaborative and the district’s literacy efforts.
Kari Lynn Besing, director of community impact for United Way, and Jerome Brown, president of the foundation, made the presentations.
Now in its 25th year, the Imagination Library provides free books for children from birth to age 5 in the U.S., U.K., Canada, Australia and Ireland.
“It really means a lot knowing our community supports our teachers and students,” Mikell said.
The school district received additional good news from HPSD CFO Jennifer Clanton, who announced that the district was well above the mandated 12 percent fund reserve with 51.5 percent on hand, allowing the district to be able to transfer $4.7 million into a capital fund that can be used for unplanned facility improvements or repairs.
“We always want to be in a position to address unanticipated expenditures,” Clanton said.
The board expressed its appreciation to Clanton and Superintendent Robert Williams for their efforts to keep the district healthy financially.
“Thank you for your work getting control of our finances,” said HPSD Trustee Eric Steele.