Rowan Middle School, Jackson Public Schools - Instructional programs to help improve student development and achievement, with a focus on African American girls.

Rowan Middle School is one of 12 middle schools in the Jackson Public School District. Rowan is an inner city school with a population of 205 students, 98 percent of whom are African American.  A large percentage of students come from single-parent homes. The partnership focuses on providing an array of instructional programs to assist in the development and improvement of student achievement overall and specifically targets 25 to 30 African American girls annually.

The partnership's aligned goals are to increase girls' sense of self-worth; improve their perspectives toward education and cultural awareness; help them develop and define their short-  and long-term goals; provide them with positive support and encouragement; and help them become self-sufficient, motivated adults.

The partnership effort is identified by the acronym ARMSGAD, which stands for At Risk Middle School Girls of African Descent. Activities include one-on-one mentoring, tutoring, furnishing school supplies and books, and organizing programs that focus on the importance of fitness, health and hygiene. Students attended workshops with local artists, entered art and essay contests, and heard presentations by local elected officials to learn about the political process. They also participated in a Sanderson Farms Golf Tourney Clinic for students, met Miss Mississippi Jasmine Murray and other strong female role models, and took part in a "Go Pink" Breast Cancer Awareness event.

With the development of the literacy campaign, Rowan has seen dramatic improvements, with more than 67 percent of students increasing their reading ability by one to two grade levels. Proficiency scores increased from 32.3 percent to 53.5 percent. Thanks to the LeFleur’s Bluff Chapter of the Links, Rowan has seen measurable success and is now seeking to further expand resources and provide in-depth, high-quality professional opportunities for instructional leaders and teachers.