Spirit of the season alive and well in Vicksburg and Warren County

Published 9:42 am Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Christmas is all about giving and on Saturday the Mountain of Faith Ministries gave backpacks containing toys, clothing, Bibles, canned goods, school supplies and personal care items to children ages 2 to 14.

The giveaway was held in conjunction with the Mississippi River Ministry and the Appalachian Regional Ministry, two nonprofit organizations that work to end poverty in 18 states along the Mississippi River.

“The Appalachian Regional Ministry started the program,” Mountain of Faith director Tina Hayward said. “Our first year, we received 500 backpacks. This year, we received 900.”

Email newsletter signup

Sign up for The Vicksburg Post's free newsletters

Check which newsletters you would like to receive
  • Vicksburg News: Sent daily at 5 am
  • Vicksburg Sports: Sent daily at 10 am
  • Vicksburg Living: Sent on 15th of each month

• The students from the River City Early College High School gave of their time Friday, when they met with kindergarten students from both Tammy Tillotson and Deandria Sylvester’s Sherman Avenue Elementary School classes. The high school students were paired with a younger counterpart and plan to serve as their pen pal and mentor for the next four years.

“We’ll do activities and invite them back and go visit them,” RCECHS guidance counselor Marian Richardson said.

“It’s such a wonderful idea because so many of our children don’t have that extra someone,” Tillotson said. “It’s just nice to have a big brother or a big sister for them to be connected to.”

RCECHS principal Tammy Burris said it was important for her students to learn about giving through service to others.

“I think it’s great for these kids to give back,” she said, adding as teenagers, high school students can be self-centered. “They’re thinking about other people and bringing happiness to these kids, and I think it’s great. They helped plan everything. They were very excited about today.”

More positives in Vicksburg this week:

• On Wednesday, Gov. Phil Bryant visited students and classrooms at the Academy of Innovation, Warren Central High School, River City Early College High School and the district’s Career and Technical Education program located at Hinds Community College.

“I had heard earlier about the innovation that we see here in this Academy of Innovation and so I wanted to come and learn more about it and be able to talk to some of the students,” Bryant said. “It is what I think we need more of.”

Bryant’s tour of the Academy of Innovation included the math, robotics, keystone, digital media and history classes to observe the students, teachers and technology present in the classrooms. Bryant spoke to some students and teachers about the different lessons and projects they were working on, like short film, coding, the Constitution and computer testing.