By Jewell Hillery
JACKSON, MS (WLBT) - Close to 300 participants gathered for the fourth annual "Mississippi Kids Count" summit. This year's summit was focused completely on education. Dr. Linda Southward, the director of "Mississippi Kids Count," says the one day summit opened up an opportunity for attendees to discuss and learn how to help combat educational challenges affecting Mississippi's children.
In addition to several presentations from guest speakers, four statewide organizations received special recognition for their dedication to helping kids prosper. One of the organizations honored was the United Way for the Capital Area. The non-profit was recognized for its dropout prevention programs, which focus on more than just the students.
CEO of the United Way for the Capital Area, Carol Burger says, "in order to keep these kids in school we must focus on the entire family and those other areas other than education, we've got to focus on to make sure they're financially stable, to make sure that they're healthy, then they can keep these kids in school because the family is whole."
"SPARK," "Between the Lions," and the New Albany School district's "coordinated school health program" were also honored during the summit.
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