Keep Jxn Beautiful Builds Pavilion at Lake Elementary


Over the past few days, Marsha Hobson with Keep Jackson Beautiful helped facilitate the development of an outdoor classroom for Lake Elementary. Keep Jackson Beautiful received a grant for $5,000 dollars from Lowe’s to build an outdoor space for children at the school. Over the past three days Marsha and her team got supplies and built the structure.

The pavilion is located near the school garden where children can pick fresh food from the garden and sit underneath the pavilion and eat.

Marsha Hobson has worked with Lake Elementary over the years and has built an outdoor classroom with a stage, raised garden beds, and helped with landscaping.

Lake Elementary is located at 472 Mt. Vernon Avenue, near the Jackson Zoo. The principal is Mrs. Althea Johnson who has been principal for the past 13 years. She said she really enjoys working with Keep Jackson Beautiful because they enhance the learning experience for children.

For more information about Keep Jackson Beautiful or Lake Elementary click on the links below.

First “Little Free Library” in West Jackson


The Center for University-Based Development (CUBD) at JSU applied for a grant to receive a Little Free Library because they wanted to provide free books to the communities in West Jackson. Late 2014, they received confirmation that their application was accepted and they would get a custom built library. On yesterday, the Little Free Library was unveiled to the community.

CUBD wants this little free library to be the pilot library for the entire community and then expand the Little Free Library to each and every neighborhood in West Jackson.

Everyone seemed to love the concept of the Little Free Library because it promotes education and reading. So far there have been over 200 books donated to the library by community residents and JSU affiliates.

At the unveiling of the Little Free Library, there were refreshments that included cookies, brownies, chips, hot dogs, and hot cocoa. Blackburn Middle School students were told they could get in line for the refreshments, however every child decided to circle around the Little Free Library to wait for their chance to get a book.

The day after the library opened over fifteen people visited the library and took a book.

The Little Free Library is located off of Dalton St. and Walter Payton Drive. It is open all the time. The concept is “Take a Book, Return a Book.” So if you take a book from the library, please make sure to return a book.

For more information call 601-979-5828. Below are the pictures from the event.

Enjoy the Weather at the Jackson Zoo

zoo jackson

The red ruffed lemurs are loving this beautiful, sunshiny day! The forecast is looking like a week full of sunshine, so stop by the Jackson Zoo.

The Zoo is open everyday from 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Below are the ticket prices

Adults: $9.25
Seniors: $8.25
Children 2-12 years: $6.75
Children under 2years: free

Military Discount
Adults: $8.25
Children: $5.75
Group Discount (for groups of 10 or more)
Adults: $8.25
Children: $5.75

For more information call 601-352-2580.

Grand Opening of the Little Free Library, Today

little free library final123456

The Little Free Library is a place where children can get free books and people can share their favorite books. This Little Free Library is the first one in West Jackson and the unveiling will take place on Tuesday, January 27th at 1:00 pm on the front lawn of the e-City Center.

The mission of the library is to promote literacy and the love of reading by building free book exchanges worldwide.

The concept behind the library is “take a book, return a book.” There are no library cards, no check out or return dates, and anyone can come get a book at anytime.

This is the first Little Free Library in West Jackson and so far many community partners have already donated books to the library. The Library is specifically for West Jackson residents and their children and grand children.

The unveiling will include refreshments, story time, and how to use the library.

For more information contact 601-979-5828.

Welcome Center Hosts Health Seminar, Tuesday

get fit 2015

The Welcome Center will host a health seminar on Tuesday, January 27, from 12 noon until 1:00 p.m. in the center. The speakers are Marvin Williams, personal trainer at Quest Fitness; and Jennifer Probert, senior associate director of marketing and membership; and Morgan Hubbard, coordinator of membership and personnel at the JSU Recreation Complex at Walter Payton Center, respectively.

Come learn how to lose weight and get in shape for a healthy lifestyle!

The seminar is free and refreshments will be served. We will also have fun health related door prizes!

RSVP @ 601.979.0883

JSU Students Volunteer in West Jxn for MLK Day

curb painting

On yesterday, dozens of volunteers showed up to do community service in rememberance of Martin Luther King Jr. There were several projects scheduled through out the City of Jackson which included planting flowers at the Jackson Zoo, cleaning up Terry Road, and mowing vacant lots.

In West Jackson, dozens of JSU students showed up to help paint house numbers on the curb of streets. Students gathered in front of the Athletic and Assembly Center at eight o’clock. They were divided up in four different teams and each team targeted certain streets. The students took the supplies and walked to homes in Washington Addition, Pecan Park, Poindexter Park, and University Park.

At the end of the day, students had painted house numbers for twenty-five homes. The residents in West Jackson enjoyed interacting with JSU students and were extremely happy to see them working in their community.

This project was a collaboration between the City of Jackson, Alice Varnado Harden Center for Service and Community Engaged Learning, and the Center for University-Based Development.

If you are interested in having your house number painted on your street curb, contact 601-979-5828. JSU students will pick another day to complete more homes in the future.

Job Readiness Workshop, Today


The City of Jackson’s Jobs for Jacksonians will conduct a Job Readiness Workshop on Friday, January, 16th in the Metrocenter Mall. It will be held from 10 a.m. to noon.
This workshop will take place in the conference room of the Department of Human and Cultural Services at the Metrocenter Mall.

Workshop attendees will learn how to increase their chances of landing a job, resume tips, and interview pointers.

For more information, contact Jonathan Barnett, 601-960-0377.

MLK Convocation, Friday

mlk convocation

On Friday, Jackson State University will hold the 47th Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Birthday Convocation and award luncheon For My People.

According to Dr. Robert Luckett, director of JSU’s Margaret Walker Center for the Study of the African-American Experience, the birthday celebration will kick off the Margaret Walker Centennial year with a keynote address by renowned scholar and author Paula Giddings.

Beginning at 10 a.m. in JSU’s Rose E. McCoy Auditorium, the event is free and open to the public, and it will be immediately followed by the For My People Awards luncheon in the JSU Student Center Ballroom.

This year’s For My People Award recipients include Giddings; Dr. John A. Peoples, Jr., President Emeritus, Jackson State University; the Smith Robertson Museum & Cultural Center in Jackson; and Pamela D.C. Junior, manager at Smith Robertson.

Seating at the luncheon is limited, and tickets are $10 and can be reserved through the Margaret Walker Center at 601-979-2055 or

This annual award is named after Walker’s classic poem, For My People, and past recipients have included James Meredith, Unita Blackwell, Robert Clark, Lerone Bennett, Andrew Young, Jesse Mosley, Reena Evers-Everette, Charlayne Hunter-Gault and others.

Giddings, a professor of African-American studies at Smith College, attended one of earliest Black Studies conferences in the nation — the Phillis Wheatley Poetry Festival hosted at Jackson State by Margaret Walker in 1973.

Giddings is the author of three books on the social and political history of African-American women: When and Where I Enter: The Impact on Black Women on Race and Sex in America; In Search of Sisterhood: Delta Sigma Theta and the Challenge of the Black Sorority Movement; and, most recently, a biography of anti-lynching activist Ida B. Wells, Ida: A Sword among Lions.

Dr. Bill Cooley Shares Vision to Packed House at Koinonia

bill colley final

This past Friday, also known as “Friday Forum,” people had the opportunity to hear from Dr. Bill Cooley. Although he was one of the primary leaders in creating the Friday Forums, this was only the second time he has spoke to the group in seven years.

By 9:00 the coffee house was packed with fans and there was only standing room for those who were late.

Dr. Cooley is a very funny man and he began by cracking a few jokes to loosen up the crowd. After the crowd laughed, they tuned in to hear his vision for business development and West Jackson.

He said there are three core goals for development:

1. Keep businesses in West Jackson
2. Get new businesses in West Jackson
3. Retain people in West Jackson and get new people to come here

He then shared seven ways to go about accomplishing the goals:

1. We need one person whose job it is to get West Jackson to work together (Ombudsman person – who lives, breathes, dreams about West Jackson)
2. Motivate JSU Academic Deans to be more involved in the community
3. Create climate of trust
4. Develop culture of inclusion
5. Saturate West Jackson with young people – make it a nice place to be, live, work
6. Make Jackson run blue and white – the whole city should support JSU to be the prime marketing and ‘pride’ factor
7. Make banks more open to West Jackson – lending, buildings, support programs

Lastly, he shared some projects that he would love to see in his life time:

Major Projects:
1. Domed stadium
2. Minority owned auto dealership
3. Workforce development center
a. West Jackson Creating jobs
4. Embrace the Zoo and have it thrive
5. Hawkins field development
6. Support veterans and women owned businesses

At the end of his vision, he gave out two outstanding community awards. One went to Patty Patterson for all the work she does in West Jackson and the other went to Lee Harper, owner and operator of Koinonia Coffee House. He believes these women exemplify what it means to be a community organizer and activist.

MLK Day of Service, January 19th


Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service is on Monday, January 19th and JSU Students will be working in West Jackson. Students will be volunteering their time by painting house numbers on the curbs of the street. Below you can see a picture of what the finished product will look like.

By having house numbers visible on street curbs it helps people find your house. In case of an emergency the fire department or police department can get to your home quickly, because they can see the house number on the curb.

Several residents that live with in a one mile radius of the JSU campus have requested that students come to their home and paint their house numbers on the curb.

If you are interested in having this done at your home, please call Heather Wilcox at 601-979-5828 or email her at She will need your name, address, and phone number.

JSU students will complete this project on Monday, January 19th between 8:00 am and 12:00 pm.

This initiative is being organized by the Center for University-Based Development, the City of Jackson, and the Alice Varnado Harden Center for Service and Community Engaged Learning.

house nunber


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