2007 Regular Session

To: Rules

By: Senator(s) White

Senate Concurrent Resolution 560


     WHEREAS, when any type of tragedy strikes a school, the community's ecology is affected.  The learning system is disrupted.  During last year's catastrophic hurricane season, despite the fact that schools worked against incredible odds to deploy their emergency response plans, and acknowledging the incredible progress made by many districts over the past nine months, the infrastructure of many schools is critically weak and major hindrances to learning exist; and

     WHEREAS, by developing comprehensive, research-based curriculum and training for school leaders and educators, and by developing recovery resource tools for children, the Scholastic Gulf Coast Recovery Initiative, the global children's publishing, education and media company, has started an ongoing commitment to supporting the restoration of the learning infrastructure on the Mississippi Gulf Coast.  The Scholastic Gulf Coast Recovery Initiative is assisting schools facilitate learning recovery; and

     WHEREAS, it is critical for administrators and educators to be fully prepared to address the educational/learning recovery needs of schools before a disaster strikes.  As part of that preparation it is important for educational leaders to understand and how to foster high-performance learning cultures where students have the resources and structures needed to achieve academically and socially.  It is also essential for leaders to receive professional development around how to promote and sustain such learning environments.  After a disaster or crisis situation, children need emotional and mental support resources to facilitate recovery; and

     WHEREAS, the Scholastic Gulf Coast Recovery Initiative is assisting leaders and educators prepare for disasters by looking at models for reducing barriers to learning.  The Scholastic Initiative will also help leaders understand the importance of, and how to put in practice, the establishment and maintenance of external community relationships and networks that can sustain student achievement before and after a disaster or disruption of the learning community.  The Scholastic Initiative will also provide support for children affected by disasters in the form of books and other therapeutic materials; and

     WHEREAS, Scholastic Initiative has provided direct in-kind support for educational recovery in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Florida and Texas.  Book donations are coordinated through nonprofit agencies serving the regions.  The company is well on its way of fulfilling its pledge to provide a half-million dollars' worth of books and reference material to Gulf Coast communities; and

     WHEREAS, in Mississippi, books have been donated to schools through organizations that partner with Kids in Distressed Situations (KIDS), a national nonprofit organization.  Schools in Bay St. Louis, Biloxi and Ocean Springs were served as part of this effort; and

     WHEREAS, in an effort to help school libraries in the Gulf Coast region, "Weekend Today" joined forces with Scholastic Initiative, to launch "Today Turns the Page:  A Book Drive for the Gulf Coast."  Thanks to the generosity of "Weekend Today" viewers, at least six schools in the Gulf Coast will be able to rebuild their school libraries, and get the right books into the hands of students; and

     WHEREAS, it is with great pride that we recognize the sustained recovery and restoration of the learning infrastructure which has been provided by these corporate citizens and the generosity of individuals who have assisted them in the best practices for total school recovery:

     NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE SENATE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI, THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES CONCURRING THEREIN, That we do hereby commend the Scholastic Gulf Coast Recovery Initiative and thank these corporate citizens and the individuals working with Scholastic Initiative for their accomplishments in assisting the total recovery of schools in the aftermath of the devastation of Hurricane Katrina, and extend the best wishes of the Legislature for the future success of this rebuilding effort.

     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That this resolution be presented to Mr. Walter Watts, representing the Scholastic Gulf Coast Recovery Initiative, and be forwarded to the State Board of Education and made available to the Capitol Press Corps.