MAY NEWSLETTER

PACT-Time: Parent and Children Together!

In recent years, I have seen the role of mother's change considerably. As moms take on greater roles and responsibilities within the home and in the community, it is important to maintain focus on the role of mom.  Families First has implemented the nationally recognized PACT-Time model within our centers located across the state as a part of the Gen+ approach to family stability.  PACT - Time  or Parent and Children Together time, models positive parent-child interactions. The primary goal is to enhance and enrich the relationship of the parent and child by encouraging parents and children to talk, share, play, laugh, cooperate, and learn together.Families First wants to help parents understand the importance of  PACT - Time  and develop skills that support quality one-on-one  time  with their children at home.


Partner Spotlight

"The JSD Foundation is pleased to partner with Families First for Mississippi to continue the mutual goals of Families First and our Foundation: t o impact the whole family and to build communities" says Juanita Sims Doty.  One of the major program initiatives of the JSD Foundation is the A-TEAAM:  Ambassadors of the Evers Academy for African-American Males.  The A-TEAAM is a leadership and character development program serving middle school males of color. In addition to the mentoring program for the young males, family engagement is an integral part of this initiative. Each Ambassador pledges to honor the life and live the legacy of slain civil rights leader, Medgar Evers, as he is mentored in one-on one, group and peer settings by a "village" of 1-2 mentors.  Over the past 5 years, mentors have been provided for over 500 males.



HOT CAR Campaign in Philadelphia

The Philadelphia Families First for Mississippi Center partnered with the MDCPS (Mississippi Department of Child Protective Services) to provide vital information about the dangers of leaving children or pets in a car during this season. Information was presented for the rapid rise of temperatures for even a few minutes and the more rapid rise of infant and toddler body temperatures.



Indianola Meet and Greet

Almost 80 attendees are the Indianola Meet and Greet event mingled with the mayor and aldermen, judges and other local dignitaries during this event.  Regional Coordinator Ben Gaston emphasized that the Indianola site  is staffed with three field educators, all of whom have a minimum of a Master's Degree in Social Work.  In addition, the NLRO Facilitator is an experienced teacher and has facilitated a program similar to the NLRO program for another organization prior to joining Families First.  These professionals talked with the guests about the services they are providing to the community.



Clarksdale Staged an Event t
Honor  Foster Parents

Among the programs offered by Families First for Mississippi are parenting classes for foster parents continuing education and certification.  At the May 19th event, three hours of training and encouragement were provided. Refreshments were served in appreciation of the difficulties that foster parents have to overcome daily with children placed in their homes.



Healthy Teens Council Selection
2018-2019 School Year

"Healthy Teens is very excited about the upcoming year and our 2018-2019 new council members.  We have 51 amazing teens that will be educating and advocating teens in their school, community and across the state to make healthy decisions," states Liz Ketchum, Director of Healthy Teens For A Better Mississippi. Healthy Teens is a governor's initiative to promote physical, emotional, social and intellectual well-being among teens. Teen council selection is currently underway for the upcoming school sessions. These teens work with Healthy Teens for Mississippi program, administered by Families First, to bring awareness issues and activities to students across the state.  They address many awareness issues, including bullying, sexual assault, drug abuse and addiction, suicide, and many other concerns.  
Pictured here are Jalisa Wilson-Families First Trainer, Student at Raymond High School, and Liz Ketchum-Director of Healthy Teens For A Better Mississippi.

Greenwood Open House & Ribbon Cutting

Greenwood Family Resource Center - The Mississippi Community Education Center (MCEC) and Family  Resource Center of North Mississippi (FRC) proudly announce the grand opening of the  Families First for Mississippi Resource Center in Greenwood.  The Greenwood center celebrates its grand opening on Wednesday, June 6, at 1506 Huron Street  in Greenwood from 2:00- 4:00 PM. Special guests include Delta Radio, who will host a live  remote, and Greenwood Mayor Carolyn McAdams, who is expected to make a brief statement.  The Greenwood- Leflore County Chamber of Commerce will present the Ribbon Cutting  Ceremony at 2:30 PM. The community at large is welcome and invited.


Canton Celebrated National Law Enforcement Awareness Week!

Canton, MS, (5/17/18) -   On May 14-18, 2018, partnering organizations in support of law enforcement officers nationwide promoted National Law Enforcement Appreciation Day. In light of recent negativity directed toward law enforcement nationally, there is a need to show law enforcement officers that our citizens recognize the difficult and sometimes impossible career they have chosen, in public service to us all.
 
Within the week of May 14-18 Families First For Mississippi dropped off baskets to the officers to thank them for their service and dedication to keeping our community safe. Law Enforcement officers and first responders play a vital role in our community. Through keeping us safe to being the first ones to respond on the scene. We thoroughly enjoyed thanking them. For more information contact your local law enforcement and first responders office.  



INCREASING ACCESSIBILITY BY PUTTING OUR SERVICES IN THE COMMUNITY!

 
Families First Resource Centers, like the Jackson Cash and Carry facility, aim to help each community stimulate employment through job readiness training, support family financial stability, promote literacy, and increase graduation rates. Beyond life skills, Families First Resource Centers support positive youth development, preventing teen pregnancy, valuable father involvement, parenting education and parenting skills development. 

Charlie Smith, Families First Community Liaison, took this project into his own hands. He worked tirelessly alongside Mr. Price to make sure the Resource Center was up and running as soon as possible. Mr. Smith explains, "After looking at the space, I knew this is where we needed to be. It will be a win-win for both Families First and Jackson Cash & Carry. Mr. Price is somebody that wants to build up the South Jackson community and believes in Families First's mission."



COMMUNITY HEALTH FAIR AT THE HATTIESBURG CENTER!

 
Families First - Hattiesburg had a SUCCESSFUL Community Health Fair today! A variety of vendors were present to provide services and educational material on important health issues that affect the community.  Participants enjoyed free giveaways, free blood pressure check, healthy eating, diabetes, oral health and much more!  It was our hope that Hattiesburg and the surrounding areas took advantage of the fair in efforts to stride toward a healthier community. 




We are  All  About  New Starts!

 
Biloxi/Gulfport Family Resource Center-Being a parent and caring for a child can be wonderful but also daunting at times. Some parents get overwhelmed while trying to make smart decisions and for some it can be quite new. Families First active parenting classes teaches individuals self-esteem, courage, responsibility, discipline, and much more. It's important for parents to learn to make decisions and accept responsibility for their decisions, and understand they won't be present for everything their children do, therefore, it's critical to instill that same responsibly within their children. Madeline Nicklas completed her last parenting class on May 16 at the Gulfport location. Although her smiling face and her willingness to learn will be missed, the staff feels she is ready to tackle parenting in a more positive and encouraging way.  

GET TO KNOW THE EXECUTIVE TEAM!

Dr. Nancy New
Executive Director of Mississippi Community Education Center
Dr. Nancy New holds a doctoral degree in educational leadership and administration  from the University of Southern Mississippi. She has dedicated her career to helping  others through K-12 teaching, school administration, and the founding of special  purpose schools, New Summit and North New Summit Schools. Simultaneously, Dr.  New founded the non-profit, Mississippi Community Education Center, to support  families and communities across the state. Dr. New has overseen Family First  Resource Centers for over 22 years, since the program's inception, and is jointly  overseeing the expansion of Families First for Mississippi. Families First  perfectly  aligns with Dr. New's vision for community education by connecting  services to  meet the needs of the whole family.

Mrs. Christi Webb
Executive Director of Family Resource Center of North Mississippi
Christi Webb holds a master's degree in education from the University of Mississippi  and has thirty graduate hours in psychology. She took the helm at FRC in 2006, after  having spent the prior thirty years as a devoted educator at Northeast Mississippi  Community College, where she served as: adjunct instructor, instructor, academic  advisor and Academic Division Director of the Social & Behavioral Science and  Physical Education Department. Webb's actions and commitment in her role as  Executive Director have been instrumental to FRC's growth and success in helping  families throughout the northern part of the state.

EVENTS COMING SOON IN JUNE! 

Child Safety Event in Tupelo
Football Camp in Tupelo
Columbus Meet & Greet
Batesville Graduation 
 Greenwood Center Open House & Ribbon Cutting
Greenwood Coalition Meeting 
Financial Literacy Bootcamp in Vicksburg
Donuts with Dad-Meridian
Fun Day with Dad in Jackson
Job Fair in Laurel 

Check out our websites for detailed information about our events. www.FamiliesFirstForMs.org