Understanding that early childhood education provides a much needed foundation for the future success of children, several Hutchison seniors, all members of the Hutchison Leads Philanthropic Literacy Board, met with Shelby County Mayor Mark Luttrell break last year to discuss early childhood programs and how they could become involved to help Shelby County’s youngest learners. Economics, parenting, health, and community involvement were among the topics examined during the meeting in the Mayor’s office.
During his time with the girls, Mayor Luttrell talked about the Urban Institute and its vital role in the community. He then discussed other programs and organizations, such as the Office of Early Childhood and Youth, the Justice Department’s Defending Childhood Initiative, and Head Start, as well as his own involvement in the Northaven community. At the conclusion of the meeting, Mayor Luttrell invited the girls to tour several Head Start Programs with him.
In March, the students joined Mayor Luttrell for a visit to the Cottonwood and Ridgeway Head Start centers. In addition to visiting classrooms and participating in activities with the children, the girls were able to discuss issues relating to early childhood education with Community Services Director Dottie Jones and Head Start Executive Director John Loveless.
The Hutchison Leads Philanthropic Literacy program provides girls with leadership training in the area of financial and philanthropic literacy. Each year, eight to 10 seniors serve on the student-led Philanthropic Literacy Board and work with The Community Foundation of Greater Memphis to solicit proposals, review applicants, and manage grants awarded out of the Hutchison Community Service Endowment Fund.