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Families First, VCS establish partnership

Vicksburg Catholic Schools are looking to make an impact on the Vicksburg community by partnering with Families First for Mississippi.
Families First for Mississippi is a grant funded by the Mississippi Department of Human Services that serves communities through two nonprofit organizations, the Mississippi Community Education Center and the Family Resource Center of Northeast Mississippi.
“Between the both of us, we deliver Families First programs throughout the entire state,” said Alyssa Laubach, media coordinator for MCEC.
These nonprofits divide the state into north and south and partner with different organizations and schools in communities throughout the state to better serve each area.
“We’re just trying to connect the dots between our services and make sure there’s a greater reach,” she said. “My understanding is they’ve been reaching out to different people who are already providing similar services, and by us granting them some of our money, hopefully they can continue to do that as well as now bring in some of our Families First services.”
The services provided through the grant center on youth development, workforce development, parenting education and life skills education, and are offered to families in the community through seminars and online workshops.
Kristi Smith has been hired locally through Vicksburg Catholic Schools to be the community outreach coordinator for Families First. Her role is to create relationships within the community and with Families First.
“We do a lot of the things Families First is about already through our commitment to service, but basically this is taking that and expounding on it and reaching out into the community and trying to reach and impact more lives through the funds that will be available to us,” Smith said. “That just comes from a will to want to do that through our faith and our service.”
She said the school hopes to collaborate with several area agencies, organizations, businesses, nonprofits and city leadership to help facilitate the different programs. Smith said the school already has some plans in the works, but she is waiting to divulge how the program will take shape in Vicksburg.