Chat About Children

Chat About Children is a video interview series that connects YOU with system leaders who affect the well-being of children in Mississippi. See more Chats and stay up-to-date by subscribing to our YouTube Channel!

Opinions expressed by guests are not necessarily shared by the Children’s Foundation of Mississippi.

Episode 19 – Vroom and Mind in the Making

In this episode, we chat with Heather Martin, Vroom and Mind in the Making Statewide Coordinator with Mississippi Thrive! Child Health and Development Project. Watch now to learn about science-based brain-building tips and tools for parents and caregivers!

Episode 18 – Excel By 5: Innovative Early Childhood Community Certification Process

In this episode, we chat with Daisy Carter, Executive Director of Excel By 5, to learn more about creating a “Child-Friendly” community by emphasizing the important roles parents and early childhood educators play in the lives of children during their most formative years – birth to age 5.

Episode 17 – Mission Acceleration:  High Impact Tutoring Programs

In this episode, we chat with Dr. Ashley Shiels of Mission Acceleration to learn more about a dynamic, evidence-based tutoring program that is demonstrating terrific results!

Episode 16 – Business Leaders Support Early Childhood Education, with Tonya Ware

In this episode, we chat with the State Project Director of ReadyNation Mississippi, Tonya Ware, and discuss how high-quality early learning initiatives are essential in supporting today’s children and tomorrow’s workforce. Learn more about how local businesses and organizations are expanding access to childcare and increasing opportunities for early education in order to ensure that the children in our state start strong.

Episode 15 – Protecting Children & Nurturing Families

In this episode, we chat with Mississippi Department of Child Protection Services (MDCPS) commissioner Andrea Sanders. Learn about new developments and collaborations within CPS, and how communities can support children across the state.

Episode 14 – Spotlighting Student Success

Principals, teachers, and counselors are critical to helping students succeed at school. In our latest Chat, hear from Dr. Wayne Rodolfich, Superintendent of Pascagoula School District, as he shares innovative programs school districts can utilize and how school faculties can help support their students’ educational development and achievements.

Episode 13 – Adapting to Meet the Needs of Families & Children

Ensuring that children are supported and successful starts early and involves the entire community. In this Chat, hear directly from Kari Lynn Somers, Director of Community Impact at United Way of Southeast Mississippi and Michele Connelly, Executive Director at United Way of West Central Mississippi as they discuss how families, communities, and educators can come together and promote the wellbeing of children.

Episode 12 – A Parent’s Story

Information about COVID-19 and its effects is often viewed through the lens of a health professional’s press conference or the daily statistics we see about case counts in Mississippi. But for Dr. Angela Bass of Mississippi Early Learning Alliance, COVID isn’t just a statistic – it’s a personal story about how COVID and a resulting case of MIS-C affected her son. Hear about her experience in this chat.

Episode 11 – COVID-19 Pediatrician Panel

In this Chat About Children, we speak to three Mississippi-based pediatricians, Dr. Jonathan Shook, Dr. Tami H. Brooks, and Dr. Tanya Fitts, about what they see in their clinics and how COVID-19 has affected their practices.

Episode 10 – COVID-19: The Delta Variant & Children

Joining us for this month’s Chat About Children is Senator Brice Wiggins, a champion of early childhood education in Mississippi. He discusses the recent doubling of Pre-K funding, as well as Mississippi being one of the top states in the nation for high-quality Pre-K education.

Episode 9 – Rising to the Top: MS Early Education Programs

Joining us for this month’s Chat About Children is Senator Brice Wiggins, a champion of early childhood education in Mississippi. He discusses the recent doubling of Pre-K funding, as well as Mississippi being one of the top states in the nation for high-quality Pre-K education.

Episode 8 – Critical Areas in Childhood Prevention: What Everyone Needs to Know

How can families teach their kids fire safety and prevent lead poisoning? What effects do secondhand smoke and vaping have on young people? Dr. Mary Currier of UMMC Department of Preventive Medicine facilitates this conversation with experts in fire safety, lung health, and lead poisoning prevention:

Crystal Veazey, Program Director, MSDH Lead Poisoning Prevention and Healthy Homes Program
Tammy Peavy, Paige Bailey, and Zach Purvis, Fire Safety Education Officers, Mississippi Fire Marshal’s Office
Aleshia Jones, Project Director, Mississippi Tobacco Free Coalition of Harrison County, American Lung Association

Find resources recommended by the presenters here.

Episode 7 – Mississippi’s Risk & Reach Report

Ben Walker of the MSU Social Science Research Center and Dr. Linda Southward, Executive Director of the Children’s Foundation of Mississippi, collaborated on producing Mississippi’s first-ever Risk & Reach Report. This report maps by county the greatest risk factors and protective factors for our state’s children and youth, pinpointing areas in need of services and support resources. Children’s Foundation Board Member Yumeka Rushing facilitates this Chat.

Episode 6 – Child Abuse, Neglect, & Endangerment

Judge Trent Favre from the Hancock County Court and Cynthia Chauvin, Executive Director at CASA of Hancock County, discuss child abuse, neglect and child welfare. They also talk about the increase during the pandemic and holidays, as well as ideas about how to prevent it.

Episode 5 – Early Learning Collaboratives in Mississippi

Dr. Jill Dent of the Mississippi Department of Education and Jennifer Calvert from the Monroe Early Learning Collaborative talk about Early Learning Collaboratives—innovative partnerships designed to give Mississippi kids the best foundation for a lifetime of learning.

Episode 4 – COVID-19 and Children

Dr. Thomas Dobbs, Mississippi State Department of Health State Health Officer, shares a deep dive on data and tips on what parents and guardians need to know about COVID-19 and children.

Episode 3 – Childcare during COVID-19

This edition of Chat About Children addresses questions around childcare during COVID-19. Childcare is an essential component for supporting Mississippi’s workforce. Join featuring Andrea Sanders, J.D. and Chad Allgood Ph.D., of Mississippi Department of Human Services, and Dr. Thomas Dobbs, Mississippi State Department of Health State Health Officer.

Episode 2 – The U.S. Census

Important information about the U.S. Census, its impact on Mississippi kids, and what you can do to make sure our state receives a complete count. Featuring a panel with Mississippi NAACP Executive Director Corey Wiggins, Mississippi Census Complete Count Committee chair Sen. Giles Ward (ret.), and Dr. John Green with the University of Mississippi Center for Population Studies.

Episode 1 – COVID-19 and Education

Dr. Carly Wright, Mississippi State Superintendent of Schools and Dr. Carla J. Evers, Superintendent of Pass Christian Public School District