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Published on Oct 1, 2010
YPP Jackson recently hosted the U.S. Dept. of Ed. as part of their National Youth Listening tour. The event took place on Sept. 2 and we were joined by Alberto Retana who is the Director of Community Outreach for the department in Washington,D.C. Several organizations including the Childrens Defense Fund, United Way, NAACP and the Metro Youth initiative participated in a roundtable to discuss the president's goals for having the most educated population in the world by 2020. Mr. Retana was able to hear from people on the ground about expected challenges to meeting this goal and to outline the areas in which they need support to help contribute to reaching this goal. We also had a very robust conversation about a local school, Wingfield High and it's recent approval for a $5.3 million grant for school improvement. Many individuals and organizations expressed a sincere interest in banding together to initiate a community education campaign to make parents and community members aware of the grant and the requirements of how the money can be used. The Youth forum gave Retana an opportunity to hear from youth about their views on home, school, and community contributions to educational achievement. YPP students as well as students from Brinkley Middle School and the Pearl school district came out to project their voices during this forum. Finally a parent forum was also held to discuss the roles parents and teachers must play in partnership to guarantee high quality educational experiences for our school-aged youth.