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Hechinger Report to Examine Obstacles, Solutions for Mississippi's Littlest Learners

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Liz Willen

Liz Willen

NEW YORK—The Hechinger Report, a nonprofit news organization that produces in-depth education journalism, will examine the education crisis in Mississippi with a $240,000 grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation of Battle Creek, Mich.

“So many roadblocks exist that keep the children of Mississippi from reaching their full potential, and we want to help the public understand what can be done to improve education in a state that has notoriously lagged behind,” said Liz Willen, editor of The Hechinger Report, based at Teachers College, Columbia University. “Transformational change is unlikely without a thorough examination of what’s happening at the earliest levels of education in Mississippi, where too many children start school way behind—and never catch up.”

The Hechinger Report will initially focus on the youngest learners in Mississippi to better understand why they’re struggling, and will look at efforts to improve their early education skills, including the fight for publicly funded pre-kindergarten. The second phase of the 18-month grant will include a close look at the state’s persistent achievement gaps among older children and highlight promising interventions.

About The Hechinger Report
The Hechinger Report—a nonprofit, nonpartisan news outlet that produces and brokers in-depth education journalism—is an independently funded unit of Teachers College, Columbia University. Since The Report’s founding in 2010, its stories have appeared in more than 100 news outlets across the nation. For more information, visit http://hechingerreport.org/.

About the W.K. Kellogg Foundation
The W.K. Kellogg Foundation (WKKF)—founded in 1930 as an independent, private foundation by breakfast cereal pioneer Will Keith Kellogg—is among the largest philanthropic foundations in the United States. Guided by the belief that all children should have an equal opportunity to thrive, WKKF works with communities to create conditions for vulnerable children to realize their full potential in school, work and life. The Foundation is based in Battle Creek, Mich., and works throughout the United States and internationally, as well as with sovereign tribes. Special attention is paid to places with high concentrations of poverty and where children face significant barriers to success.


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