Franklin Academy Medical Sciences & Wellness Magnet School and Frank P. Phillips YMCA

Franklin holds the distinction of being the oldest public school in the state and is housed in a building recognized by the National Historic Registry and is a Mississippi Historic Landmark designated by the state. Franklin Academy has a rich history steeped in tradition yet continues to blaze trails in the community, state and nation.

Franklin became the first and only Medical Sciences & Wellness Magnet School in Mississippi during the 2008-09 term. At Franklin, an integral part of instruction includes promoting a healthy lifestyle through nutrition, character education and physical fitness routines. Our stakeholders including students, parents, teachers and community leaders have embraced this commitment to physical education and the improvement of healthy lifestyles.

The students enrolled at Franklin are here because they have a strong desire and willingness to strive for excellence in the medical and fitness fields. One of our first efforts to develop a world-class wellness program was the partnership forged with our local YMCA. Little did we know our need for space and desire to expand our fitness program would open the doors to building character traits in our students that will last a lifetime.

As part of our community partnership, Franklin students can be seen three days a week at the local YMCA exercising and building social and communication skills. On Tuesday through Thursday, two different grade levels walk the two blocks to the YMCA for “Y” time. As a result, students’ activity time has expanded to socializing with community members, awareness of their surroundings and pride in themselves, school and community.


Duration of partnership: 3 years
6 volunteers
Impacts 412 students

Activities: Students allowed to use YMCA gym, inside walking track and equipment. Larger space allows students to participate in team sports, learn teamwork and build self-esteem. YMCA employs 3 staff members to work directly with students. Students allowed longer activity periods on YMCA days.

Results: Activities helping build communication and social skills through increased community interaction. Also building positive relationships with law enforcement officers due to close proximity to Lowndes County Courthouse. Student absentee and tardy rates decrease on YMCA days. Real-life experiences help build character.