The GLR Campaign recognizes Gulfport, Mississippi, as a 2016 Pacesetter for reporting population-level, measurable progress in school readiness for children from low-income families.
Children entering kindergarten went from 32% ready based on the STAR assessment in 2014–15 to 66.3% ready in 2016. The GLR Campaign also acknowledges Gulfport for its work in supporting parent success through the innovative use of technology. The Gulfport coalition partnered with the Bezos Foundation to bring the Vroom application to parents, while also collaborating with researchers to monitor and evaluate the use of Vroom by parents. The Gulfport coalition also partnered with the Emory University Jigsaw team to bring in free tablets to distribute to all parents of newborns leaving local hospitals. These tablets, funded through the Barbara Bush Foundation and Medicaid, send a “how-to” manual home with new parents, providing parents with ready access to free, expert parenting advice.
Gulfport also has excelled in integrating technology into its existing early childhood education efforts by utilizing social media to reach parents and ensure they are aware of the many parenting resources available to them throughout the community.