KIDS COUNT program taking award nominations

Mississippi KIDS COUNT is accepting entries through May 18 for its 2013 Success Stories recognition program.

Three organizations will be selected by an independent panel to appear in the 2013 KIDS COUNT data book, be recognized at the 2013 KIDS COUNT Summit, and have their work highlighted in a video.

Online nominations may be submitted by e-mail to anne.buffington@ssrc.msstate.edu, or by telephoning 662-325-1590. Organizations may self-nominate.

Mississippi KIDS COUNT is the leading resource for comprehensive information on the state’s children and works to improve the outcomes for children, families and communities.

A part of the Family and Children Research Unit at Mississippi State University’s Social Science Research Center, it is sponsored, in part, by the Annie E. Casey Foundation, a private charitable organization based in Baltimore, Md.

The 2013 data book will focus on the economic well-being of Mississippi families and children. Winners are chosen on such criteria as a program’s intent and reach, statewide need of its services and degree to which it assists families and children.

Selections are made from three categories: economic factors affecting education, economic factors affecting health and wellness, and economic factors affecting employment and housing.

“Statewide recognition as a Success Story was a shot of energy for the volunteers working to reduce childhood obesity,” said Tom Pittman, a 2010 Success Story selection. “It gave us confidence that we were on the right path and doing significant work.”

Pittman is president of the Hernando-based Community Foundation of Northwest Mississippi.

“KIDS COUNT also helped to spread the word about what we were doing, potentially helping many more children avoid obesity,” Pittman added.

For more Kids Count information, visit www.ssrc.msstate.edu/mskidscount/.