Vicksburg Mayor George Flaggs Jr. plans to recommend to the Board of Alderman on spending at least $1.2 million over two years on helping enhance educational opportunities.
“I am going to recommend to this board that we at least spend $600,000 of the $2.6 million this year and 600,000 of the $2.6 million next year for the sake of the children,” Flaggs said at the Board of Mayor and Aldermen meeting on Monday.
“I have every intention to not spend $2.6 million on infrastructure. We’ve got more to do than put money in holes, and in pipes and in engineering services,” Flaggs said. “We are going to do something for our people.”
The first project leaders are considering is a software coding course opportunity called Coding for Kids that would be instated at Kids are Kids Daycare on Washington Street.
“A group of guys from the community came to me and talked about a pilot project,” Flaggs said. “Now, this is the same group that was against me in my election. But they made sense. We have to start looking at how we can enhance the educational opportunities for people in the community.”
Mayor Flaggs put the political differences aside and recognized the need in our community for more youth services, as well as the potential for the coding program to empower Vicksburg youth with marketable skills that will help them toward a successful future. The estimated cost of the project amounts to around $24,800.
“We are going to help educate. This is not criticism to the Vicksburg public school system, it’s just a commitment from this city that we are going to do something…enhance the educational opportunities of children in our community.”
Flaggs went on to speak on the importance of having children read at the right grade level and how certain services will help keep children from dropping out of school and getting into trouble with the law.
“We are losing too many. We are losing too many, y’all.”
In addition to the coding pilot, Flaggs mentioned other programs they are looking at getting involved in, including a potential partnership with United Way of West Central Mississippi to promote reading skills in young students.
Kelley Branch contributed to this story.