GULFPORT -- The United Way of South Mississippi celebrated a national award and awarded grants Tuesday to programs who have helped set the pace for child education in the past year.
Cindy Walker, chief executive officer, presented 10 agencies with grants and congratulated the community for helping the United Way of South Mississippi be recognized as a 2014 pacesetter by the national Grade-Level Reading Campaign.
"Being one of only 30 cities nationally recognized as a pacesetter is an incredible accomplishment," she said. "We've been blessed with opportunities and great leaders."
Programs named as a pacesetter were those who made the largest difference in the United Way's continued fight to raise the number of children reading at grade-level by the third grade.
"74 percent of kids who cannot read at grade-level by the third grade will never read at grade-level," she said. "We are going to change that statistic."
Walker said the award shows what can happen when people focused on helping others come together.
"This is a win for our children," she said. "Staff, supporters and volunteers should all take a bow."
The organizations awarded grants for their service were:
-Gulf Coast Women's Center
-Hancock Human Resource Agency
-Moore Community House
-Boys and Girls Club
-The Nourishing Place
-Hancock Resource Center and CASA
Read more here: http://www.sunherald.com/2015/07/07/6310736_united-way-awards-500000-worth.html?rh=1#storylink=cpy