State PTA gathers in Natchez for meeting

Published 12:00 am Saturday, April 19, 2008

NATCHEZ — On Friday, the 89th convention of the Mississippi Congress of Parents and Teachers met in the Natchez Convention Center.

The two-day event, ending today, featured guest speakers, a choral performance, and booths and exhibits from area schools.

The event’s coordinator and vice president of the Mississippi PTA, Delores Irving, said the goal of the conference was to motivate, inspire and inform parents and school officials on ways to better their schools.

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Irving also said the event was a chance to celebrate the accomplishments of the PTA over the past year.

“The group has done a lot of good work,” she said.

Motivational speaker Ako Kambon also addressed conference-goers, numbering about 100.

“We must stop the stuff that’s not working,” he said speaking on the need to change ill functioning practices in school systems.

Kambon spoke on a need for greater levels of parental involvement, not just locally but in public schools throughout the country.

For educators, Kambon recommended spending the upcoming summer months to ready themselves for the coming school year.

“It’s a major mistake to let summer occur with no preparation for the fall,” he said.

Superintendent of the Natchez-Adams School District Anthony Morris also spoke at Friday’s event.

He said the event was a good opportunity for parents and educators to get the necessary tools to and strategies to bolster parental involvement in schools.

Barney Schoby Jr., president of the Holy Family Catholic School PTA, said he felt the event was valuable for the entire community.

“There was a great turnout from all the schools,” he said.

Schoby said he was particularly looking forward to a seminar dealing with ways to decrease the statewide dropout rate.

“That’s an important issue that impacts a lot of school,” he said.

Schoby said the hoped to leave the conference with new insights in getting parents and students to work more closely together.

“Cooperation with both groups is the key,” he said.