Puckett Elementary (Rankin County School District) and Puckett Methodist Church, Puckett Baptist Church, Puckett Volunteer Fire Department, Head Start, Peoples Bank, Lacey Tollison’s Dance Studio, parent and community volunteers

Students impacted: 383
Volunteers: 50
Duration of partnership: 2 years

As a top-performing Title I school, Puckett Elementary was perceived as having a sufficient level of community engagement and school achievement. However, results of the new accountability model for testing revealed that the lowest-performing students needed something more to be part of the school’s overall academic success. Groups emerged with a blend of parents, staff, students, and community leaders to build student achievement by focusing on four areas: Welcoming Environment, Volunteer Recruitment, Communication, and Parent Support with Student Work. 


  • Free summer program for incoming kindergarteners
  • Take-home electronic devices for letter/sound and numeracy skills practice
  • Book giveaways and reading tutors
  • Parent trainings for future students
  • Remind App to improve communications between school and parents
  • Teacher Support Team meetings
  • Monthly parent workshops in literacy, math, science


  • Student reading levels improved at end of first semester.
  • Lower-performing students in first and second grades improved grades and screeners.
  • Anecdotal survey data indicated that parents were more confident in the work their children were doing, support for teachers increased, and parents became more engaged in school activities