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Dak Prescott MSU Fundraiser, Math Power at USM and JSU Wells-Fargo Grant

Mississippi State University alumnus and Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott recently raised $20,000 to support the university's T.K. Martin Center for Technology and Disability through his Faith, Fight, Finish Foundation. Photo courtesy James D. Smith/Dallas Cowboys

Mississippi State University alumnus and Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott recently raised $20,000 to support the university's T.K. Martin Center for Technology and Disability through his Faith, Fight, Finish Foundation. Photo courtesy James D. Smith/Dallas Cowboys

Mississippi State University alumnus and Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott recently raised $20,000 to support the university's T.K. Martin Center for Technology and Disability through his Faith, Fight, Finish Foundation.

Prescott created the foundation in 2013 in honor of his mother, Peggy Prescott, who passed away from colon cancer that year. Faith, Fight, Finish works to help young people living with cancer or other life-challenging hardships and their families, the foundation's website says.

Kendrell Daniels, a 19-year-old Kemper County resident who paints Cowboys-themed art, with Prescott as a common inspiration, created a painting that the FFF Foundation featured in an auction at its first official fundraiser in Dallas. Daniels was born without arms and paints with his feet, and has been part of the T.K. Martin Center's Express Yourself program for about three years, a release from MSU says.

Gene Jones, wife of Cowboys owner and art collector Jerry Jones, purchased Daniels' painting for $20,000. Proceeds from the sale will benefit the T.K. Martin Center's efforts to provide comprehensive assistive technology, art, early intervention and dyslexia services to individuals of all ages with disabilities, the release says.

The T.K. Martin Center for Technology and Disability is part of MSU's College of Education. For more information on the center, visit educ.msstate.edu or tkmartin.msstate.edu. For information on the Faith, Fight, Finish Foundation, visit faithfightfinish.org.

Math Power Program at USM

University of Southern Mississippi faculty members Erin Smith and Jo Hawkins-Jones, who are both assistant professors in the USM School of Education, recently launched a pilot mathematical program called Math Power, which helps parents better understand math so they can help their children succeed in the subject at school.

Hawkins-Jones and Smith have partnered with Families First for Mississippi, a nonprofit organization that provides academic and social support for Pine Belt families, to run the program.

Smith notes in the release that elementary- and secondary-school math curriculums have changed since many parents were in school, and that Mississippi College- and Career-Ready Standards require current students to meet benchmarks that the Mississippi Department of Education may not have historically required.

Math Power offers free learning activities and guided discussions to raise participants' math knowledge. The program's tutors and other programming providers will include USM undergraduate pre-service teachers with expertise in elementary-mathematics education.

Math Power will hold group sessions once per month on Fridays at Families First for Mississippi's Hattiesburg offices (108 Sheffield Loop, Hattiesburg). Dates include Sept. 13, Oct. 11 and Nov. 8 from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., and Dec. 13 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

For more information on Math Power, email Smith at Erin.Marie.Smith@usm.edu or Hawkins-Jones at Joyarketta.Hawkins@usm.edu. For information about the USM School of Education, go here.

JSU Receives Grant for Continuing Education Learning Center

Wells Fargo recently awarded a $10,000 grant to the Continuing Education Learning Center at Jackson State University's School of Lifelong Learning. The CELC works to increase adult literacy in the greater Jackson area and help participants obtain General Education Development, or GED, credentials.

The learning center offers programs in GED and basic-skills training, parenting skills, English as a second language and more. CELC also provides individual, computer-based instruction for community development projects in literacy, the workforce and health.

Wells Fargo's grant will assist students with testing fees, provide professional-development opportunities for Jackson State staff and provide instructional materials for the CELC programs, a release from JSU says.

For more information on the Continuing Education Learning Center, click here.

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