Mississippi shows improvements but still lands at bottom of nati - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Mississippi shows improvements but still lands at bottom of national Kids Count report

Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

Mississippi is back on the bottom, this time for overall child well-being.

The national Kids Count rankings were released Tuesday.

Operation Shoestring is a non-profit that works to empower kids in Jackson and their summer camps are just one way they're trying to fill the gaps.

As they look at the Kids Count report, they know it takes more than just one organization to make a lasting change.

"We will rise together," described Robert Langford, Operation Shoestring Executive Director. "So the opposite of that is true, right? We all sink or fall together. So the more we realize we all are connected, we're in this together, our fates are connected, the better we'll do."

Oleta Fitzgerald with the Children's Defense Fund commented that poverty is at the root of many of the low rankings. For example, the state is ranked 50th for economic well-being of children and 48th for education and health. But Fitzgerald does see the silver linings.

"The report suggests that there has been great movement," noted Fitzgerald. "Much of that is attributable to things like the health care coverage under Medicaid and the children's health insurance program."

Fitzergerald also noted that the state's literacy focus seems to be working. The ranking for 4th graders proficient reading has gotten better.

Operation Shoestring is working with the state and other organizations to form a statewide after-school network.

"It's nothing super magical about what we're doing," added Langford. "It's about having a concentrated effort. Working hard with the school. Working with parents. Working with lots of other community stakeholders to yield good outcomes for kids. And that's what we want."

To view the full report, click here.


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