TUPELO, Miss. (WTVA) - The Mississippi Association of Partners in Education recently awarded its 2013 Governor's Award to the city and the school system.
Mayor Jack Reed, Junior, and Superintendent Gearl Loden talked about this award during a news conference at city hall.
Reed said, "This award says of all the cities and school systems in the state, the number one partnership is between Tupelo and Tupelo Public Schools. Yes, I'm very proud of that."
Among the initiatives recognized is an agreement between the city and public schools to open up playgrounds after hours and on the weekends.
Other city and school system projects include the Safe Splash program that introduces all second graders to swimming and water safety.
The Safe Routes to Schools program and improved literacy programs also are recognized.
The superintendent says this good working relationship between a city and its school system can't be underestimated.
Loden said, "A great key to economic development is education. You're not going to move a big business or corporation to a city where you're not willing to live. In Tupelo, we want to have a community where it's a great place to live, work and learn. Healthy schools and a city that's an attractive place that offers partnerships and relationships other people don't have will make tupelo more attractive for people to move to."
The mayor says one of his goals in office has been to create a community with stronger ties to its schools.
Reed said, "It makes a real difference in the lives of people. It's good for the school system and city to pitch in and help each other."
The mayor says this award is great recognition for what works here, but it also shows the rest of the state the importance of a strong city and city schools relationship.