Business News for the Mississippi Delta

Community Digital Scholars Program

Entity is honored with Governor’s Award

The Community Foundation of Northwest Mississippi was recently honored at the state capitol with the Governor’s Award for its multi-level partnerships with schools throughout the region. The Mississippi Association of Partners in Education recognized its Community Digital Scholars program as producing outstanding results for students.

“The partnership programs we’re recognizing at the Governor’s Awards luncheon have made a positive impact on virtually every school district and student in Mississippi,” said Dr. Suzanne Bean, the association’s president. “We congratulate this year’s winning programs and will share their success stories so others can put these great partnership ideas into practice in their own communities.”

The Community Digital Scholars program uses EverFi, Inc. to provide web-based learning courses in financial literacy, digital literacy, STEM education and other critical skills for Northwest Mississippi students in grades 6-12. Last year, more than 35,000 students in 11 school districts benefited from these interactive resources. High school students demonstrated a 94 percent increase in their knowledge of personal finance. The Community Foundation provides the program at no charge to the schools, thanks to a generous anonymous donor to the Foundation.

The Foundation was also honored by the Mississippi Association of Partners in Education 10 years ago for its partnership with DeSoto County Public Schools to reduce childhood obesity.

“Education and health have been our Foundation’s priorities, and we have long seen the need the advantage of improving education with technology,” Community Foundation President Tom Pittman said. “We know that students need critical life skills. Our Foundation is fortunate to have a donor who allowed us to use educational technology to teach these skills.”

“We are deeply indebted to Sen. Robert Jackson of Marks for introducing our Foundation to EverFi. Our pilot project was in DeSoto County schools, thanks to the district’s director of leadership development Emily Nelson,” Pittman said.

School districts involved in the Foundation’s Community Digital Scholars program include Clarksdale, Coahoma County, DeSoto County, East Tallahatchie, Greenwood, Leflore, Marshall County, Quitman County, Senatobia, South Panola, Sunflower County, Tate County and Tunica County.

The Community Foundation manages 217 donor-established funds and has distributed $16.7 million to support more than 420 charitable organizations and activities recommended by its donors, as well as charitable programs established by the Foundation.  Established in 2002 with a generous grant from the Maddox Foundation, the Community Foundation is an independent 501.c.3 charitable organization. The Foundation serves Bolivar, Coahoma, DeSoto, Leflore, Marshall, Panola, Quitman, Sunflower, Tallahatchie, Tate, and Tunica counties.  A board of 18 volunteer civic leaders governs the Community Foundation