The C Spire Wireless Foundation, the corporate philanthropic arm of the nation’s only provider of personalized wireless services, is the title sponsor of the 2012 Winter-Reed Partnership Award, which will be presented to education leaders Jim and Claiborne Barksdale during an award dinner Sept. 10 at the Jackson Convention Complex. The event benefits Mississippi Association of Partners in Education, which has served as a statewide network of educators and community partners since 1984.
“The C Spire Wireless Foundation is proud to join MAPE in honoring two very deserving Mississippians, Jim and Claiborne Barksdale, for their ongoing leadership and contributions to early-childhood literacy,” said Jim Richmond, director of Corporate Communications for C Spire Wireless and a member of the C Spire Foundation board of directors. “We also support MAPE’s efforts to promote the importance of strong community-school partnerships in improving public education and building a better future for Mississippi.”
The Barksdales were responsible for establishing and operating The Barksdale Reading Institute in Oxford, Miss., a joint venture with the Mississippi Department of Education and the state’s public universities to improve reading skills among Mississippi children from birth to third grade.
Sponsorship opportunities for the C Spire Winter-Reed Partnership Award are available by visiting www.mapie.org or contacting MAPE at 601-573-0896. The deadline for full sponsor benefits is July 20. Individual tickets for the awards banquet are $75 and may be purchased online at www.mapie.org or from MAPE, P.O. Box 2803, Madison, MS 39130.
MAPE launched the Winter-Reed Partnership Award in 2007 to honor former Gov. William Winter and Tupelo businessman Jack Reed Sr. for their lifelong contributions to public education and to provide ongoing recognition to Mississippians who demonstrate a similar commitment. Event sponsorships also raise funds to support MAPE programs and services.
Last year, the Winter-Reed Partnership Award was presented to former State Rep. Robert Clark and “The Boys of Spring” — Andy Mullins, Dick Molpus, David Crews and John Henegan — who helped engineer the now historical Education Reform Act of 1982.
The 2009 recipient was Dr. Cathy Grace, founding director of Mississippi State University’s Early Childhood Institute. In 2008, MAPE posthumously honored Sen. Grey Ferris, considered the architect of the Mississippi Adequate Education Act.
Proceeds from the event will be used to enhance the program services of MAPE, including scholarships for member school districts to send representatives to MAPE’s annual training events and to host regional training events throughout the state.
MAPE was designated as a 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization in 1994 and is committed solely to providing training and materials to help build local support for the success of all students.