Educational inequity persists in the Delta, where many students are already two grade levels behind by third grade. By high school, ACT scores for these students regularly fall far below the national average.
Despite these challenges, we believe hardworking, transformative classroom, school, and community leaders can improve the educational outcomes for students across the Mississippi Delta region.
About Mississippi Delta
Often referred to as “the most southern place on Earth,” the Delta is truly unlike any other part of our nation. The birthplace of American music, a major arena in the Civil Rights Movement, and the home of many of our nation’s most prolific authors, the Delta and its residents have long been recognized for their contributions to our society. The introduction of mechanized farming, however, has forced people to leave the region to find employment elsewhere and has turned the Delta into a largely forgotten national treasure.
Despite the barriers that stand between the Delta and newfound prosperity, it remains to be defined by its greatest asset: its people. Many residents who have remained here, and those who have come to join them through organizations like Teach For America and others, are creative, entrepreneurial, and visionary. And they are brimming with the desire to see their home live up to its potential and become a successful and vibrant region in the 21st century.
In 1991, the Delta became one of Teach For America’s first placement sites, with nine corps members teaching in Arkansas. Two years later, our region expanded to 20 teachers in both Arkansas and Mississippi, and over the last two decades, we’ve grown to more than 500 teachers reaching over 46,000 students in 50 districts. Throughout our history in the region, we have sought to build relationships and partnerships with individuals and organizations in all of the communities we serve.
Consensus is building in the Delta that a brighter future for the region can only be created by ensuring that every child receives an excellent education. Teach For America - Mississippi Delta has been forming vital partnerships with our districts since 1991, yet the pool of highly-qualified teachers from which administrators can hire remains too small. For the past two years, Teach For America has received requests from partnering districts exceeding our total corps size. The Delta’s greatest asset remains its people, and Teach For America is committed to bringing great, young leaders to “the most southern place on Earth” to join in the movement toward educational equity and the region’s renaissance.
Connect With Us
Prior to joining Teach For America’s staff, Ron completed a master's degree in southern studies at the University of Mississippi, and Oxford has remained his home ever since. Ron previously served as executive director of Main Street Helena, project coordinator for the Center of Southern Culture, and assistant director of Central College's American Program at Trinity College in Carmarthen, Wales. Ron is committed to continuing to build relationships across the region that will help elevate the educational opportunities for the children of the Delta.