Roses and thorns: Dawn Dillard and her 3-year-old daughter Marley Dillard explore the first Hitching Lot Farmers' Market Saturday. “We like to buy all the local things, so we have been ready for the market to open,” says Dawn. Photo by: Luisa Porter/Dispatch Staff
May 13, 2017 9:54:49 PM
A rose to the Starkville Foundation for Public Education, comprised of parents and other school district patrons, which again fills an important gap as the state struggles to fund our K-12 schools. This year, the group has funded 14 grant requests from Starkville school programs to the tune of $7,000. With most schools operating on a bare-bones basis, these grants make it possible to purchase materials for projects that would not be possible otherwise -- everything from science to the arts. The foundation serves to remind us of the symbiotic relationship between a community and its schools. Thriving communities have thriving schools. There is no substitute for an engaged, supportive community. That is what we are seeing at work in Starkville.
A rose to students from the Mississippi School for Mathematics and Science for Monday's Eighth of May Emancipation Day History Program in Sandfield Cemetery. Now in its third year, the event pays tribute to the day slaves were emancipated in Columbus -- May 8, 1865. The student-directed MSMS Voices in Harmony Choir performed along with dramatic vignettes related to historic events and figures from the 19th through mid-20th century African-American community in Columbus. Figures portrayed included Anna Boulden, wife of state representative Rev. Jesse F. Boulden, who played a role in founding Missionary Union Baptist Church and Union Academy teacher Anna Gleed, whose father, state senator Robert Gleed, spoke at the first Eighth of May celebration in 1866. Dr. E.J. Stringer was also portrayed. The local dentist led the state NAACP and efforts to integrate local schools. The program was a fitting tribute to a meaningful part of our city's history. Well done!
A rose to a group of seven MUW students who are working with the Department of Homeland Security to fight terrorism. The students in Assistant Professor Chanley Rainey's international relations and research classes have formed the organization "Got Peace" as part of a Homeland Security challenge to college students around the country to use social media campaigns to counter terrorist groups and other extremist ideologies online. The internet has proven to be a battle ground where radical ideologies recruit its members. Employing students to combat the efforts of hate and terror groups who aim to radicalize our youth is a great way to reach out to young people in ways they can relate to. Many vulnerable young people are easy targets for these groups. Having people they can relate to shoot down some of these false and dangerous overtures is important work. We commend the students for their important contribution to our safety.
A rose to The Hitching Lot Farmers Market, which opened Saturday. A group of about two dozen vendors were on hand for Saturday's opening day of the market, which runs through October. A steady stream of visitors made it out to the market, which featured locally-grown produce and a variety of home-made goods. The event offered something for the kids, too, with activities that included an appearance by Mother Goose as well as a Columbus Fire & Rescue fire truck. The opening of the farmers market is a sure sign that spring has arrived and over the weeks, we look forward to the arrival of new produce as the season progresses.
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