Pascagoula School District, Mississippi
- Community name: Pascagoula School District
- Community or city website
- Population: 40,255
- Graduation rate: 77.3%
- Youth poverty rate: 75.0%
OverviewA second-time 100 Best Communities for Young People winner, Pascagoula School District has demonstrated its outstanding commitment to young people through early childhood education initiatives, interactive learning facilities for children and families, and promotion of healthy eating in schools. City leaders and the Bacot/McCarty Foundation have partnered to allocate $30,000 annually to Excel by 5, an early childhood education initiative that ensures all every preschooler has all the academic, social, physical and psychological tools necessary to successfully begin kindergarten. Backpack Buddies partners with the school district to provide food for needy families each week. While the Summer Scholars program provides out-of-the-box classes, which incorporate reading, math, science and social studies learning, for students seeking additional academic challenges.
- Excel by 5 is an early childhood initiative that ensures every preschooler has the academic, social, physical and psychological tools necessary to begin kindergarten in the school district.
The teen pregnancy support program, part of the school’s district Destination Graduation program, has eliminated the dropout rate for pregnant high school girls and had 100 percent of teen parents in the program graduate for the past three years.
- The Family Interactive Center is a hands-on learning center for children and their families in a renovated and transformed former high school that had been vacant for years.
- The STAR (Students’ Technology and Reading) bus at the Boys and Girls Clubs helps students with homework and other academic needs after school and is outfitted with 17 computer stations.
- Volunteers in Medicine, a group of retired doctors, helps families who need proper medical attention.
Doing community service work for the Boys and Girls Club, playing basketball and having mentors have helped me on my way to success and graduation.
The Pascagoula School District welcomes students from all backgrounds and caters to their needs. Challenging classes are available for advanced students, and tutoring is available for students who do not grasp the curriculum easily.