MSU and LMSD continues successful partnership

By Joseph McCain
The Winston County Journal

Learning is the key to the partnership between Mississippi State
University and Louisville Municipal School District.

While LMSD receives the knowledge, expertise and time of key MSU
personnel through its partnership in CAPPS (Changing Academic
Performance & Promoting Success) program and College Knowledge
Mentoring program, MSU receives hands on training for its students
aiming to be elementary and middle school teachers.

Students in the CAPPS program have been receiving one on one
instruction from MSU Practimum students. For 10 sessions, 47 student
teachers in professor Kelly Bennett’s class and Gina Smith’s classes
are taking the time to work with CAPPs students directly on their
homework.

It is an opportunity for the future teachers to practice teaching
skills and an opportunity for the CAPPS students to receive one-on-
one help on specific homework assignments.

“We are serious about this partnership and have a lot going on,” said
Shane Davis who is heading up a mentoring program between MSU
students and students in the district.

The CAPPS program has about 150 students attending between all the
sites in the county.

The program has been funded with a 21st Century Community Learning
Centers (CCLC) grant for five years but each year the school district
and those who wish to partner with CAPPS must increasingly take up
more of the funding split. CAPPS is a free after-school tutoring
program offered to all Louisville Municipal School District students’
grades 5-12.

Educators in the Louisville Municipal School District noted that
students participating in the CAPPS program are having more classroom
and academic success.

“We have lots of students showing improvement in motivation,
classroom behavior and attentiveness,” added Gina Smith, CAPPS
project director.

The program focuses on enhancing character education and student
skills in key learning areas such as math and language skills. The
program also offers enrichment activities, tutoring, homework
assistance, computer projects, group activities, and educational
field trips for students. The program employs certified teachers and
support staff to deliver information similar to the classroom.

The CAPPS program runs for 15 weeks in the fall, 15 weeks in the
spring, and 4 weeks in the summer. This allows access to the program
during any time of the year, a big plus for students who want to use it.

CAPPS is funded through a $1.8 million grant of the 21st Century
Community Learning Center Grants through the Mississippi Department
of Education. The program is an academic /tutorial environment with
some physical education and arts infusion. The program decreases
funding each year until the 5th year when it is set to be self-
sustaining.

The CAPPS grant is a collective endeavor of the Louisville School
District, the Boys and Girls Club of Winston County, and Mississippi
State University. Parents should contact their area school to find
out about enrollment opportunities.

For more information contact the CAPPS office at 662-773-2035.