Dialing for Students: Celebrity Night!

Local “celebrities” will take time Monday night to help raise awareness of the importance of regular school attendance as part of a week-long, community wide effort to help decrease chronic absenteeism throughout Shelby County.

More than 20 elected officials, television personalities, athletes and distinguished community members will gather together at the Shelby County Schools Parent Welcome Center to call on households with school-aged children to discuss the consequences of school absences and help address any barriers or concerns that may cause students ….

Read More »


Young professionals speak in call to action

Few subjects in our community have been discussed more in recent years than what Memphis and Shelby County should do to keep and attract young professionals. Now, for the first time, we have the facts, and best of all, they come from the young professionals themselves.

What these 25- to 34-year-old college-educated men and women told Yacoubian Research in a scientific poll for PeopleFirst Partnership, a Memphis Fast Forward initiative, is encouraging, instructive and a call to action for our community. ….

Read More »


Vanderbilt study is an opportunity for improvement

In a long-awaited report, Vanderbilt University released findings about Tennessee’s Voluntary Pre-K that are disappointing, yet not totally surprising.

As an advocate for quality early education and increased access for economically disadvantaged children, I believe this study is an opportunity for serious reflection and commitment to improvement.

The Vanderbilt study shows that children who attended Voluntary Pre-K started kindergarten ahead of their non-pre-K peers in a number of early academic indicators. Also, kindergarten teachers rated children who attended pre-K as better prepared.

However, ….

Read More »


A call to action: keep moving forward!

PeopleFirst Partnership Executive Director, Lora Jobe, was recently published in the Commercial Appeal calling on citizens and government alike to continue pushing forward for education reform in Shelby County.

Over the years, Memphis and Shelby County has made great strides in improving the education outcomes of all  students from cradle-to-career.

Tennessee was named the most improved state in the nation by the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) in 2013 and 2015. Shelby County Schools on-time graduation rates are now at 75 ….

Read More »