Hattiesburg educator earns teacher grant; school keeps federal grant status


Virginia Young, a teacher at the Hattiesburg Public School District’s Mary Bethune Achievement Center, was awarded a $500 teacher grant from the Retired Education Personnel of Mississippi Foundation, which she will use for a project she has developed to help students at the school learn more about the state and nation’s civil rights history.

 The project, which is tied to the state’s curriculum on civil rights, includes a field trip to the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum and the Museum of Mississippi History in February, an opportunity Young said can “expose them (students) to new ideas, allowing the pages of history to manifest, allowing students to see how others handled challenges, inequalities, and injustices, and allowing students to learn in a different environment.” 

 Following the visit to the museums, students will have a variety of options to demonstrate what they gained from the experience, including writing a paper on what they learned or about a civil rights leader; producing a power point presentation on what they learned about the civil rights struggle; writing a rap song about a leader or some of the events during the civil rights era; creation of a brochure of some of the events of the civil rights era; or decoration of a trifold board with information about the events of civil rights era, or the contributions of a leader during that era. Students may also select another method to demonstrate learning, to be approved by a teacher.  

 Young praised Mary Bethune colleague Veronica Jordan for her assistance in developing the project.

In other news from Mary Bethune, the school recently learned it has maintained the status of School Wide Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports  Tier 1 Model Site for 2018-2019. PBIS is a program managed through Realizing Excellence for ALL Children in Mississippi (REACH MS), a federally- funded State Personnel Development Grant awarded to the Mississippi Department of Education and operated through a cooperative agreement with The University of Southern Mississippi.

“We’re very pleased that we continue to hold this status (Tier 1),” said Mary Bethune Principal Dexter Jordan. “We have a dedicated and hard-working faculty and staff committed to our students, and we have systems in place to monitor their progress and help us stay on track to continue meeting the (PBIS) criteria for Tier 1 status going forward.”