Dear Fellow Mississippians,
It is my pleasure to introduce Focus on the Future, an initiative of the Mississippi Public Broadcasting Foundation designed to expand and enhance the work of Mississippi Public Broadcasting (MPB). Focus on the Future is a bold effort to bring our corporate, community and elected officials together for the benefit of all Mississippians in the coming decade and beyond.
Established in 1969 by our state legislature and key leaders throughout the state, MPB continues to the “Voice of Mississippi,” educating our young people, communicating with our citizens statewide and sharing our story of life in Mississippi with a national and international audience.
While the mission of Mississippi Public Broadcasting is to provide educational, professional growth, entertainment and public service programs for the citizens of Mississippi, MPB is dedicated to improving the quality of life for all who live and work in our state. Through its Emmy award-winning productions, its extraordinary resources in education, and its acclaimed hurricane coverage and response operations, MPB has demonstrated its commitment to enlightening and informing all Mississippians.
Focus on the Future will enable MPB to develop new and exciting instructional programs to reach more young people from pre-K through high school and beyond. Furthermore, efforts will be expanded to assist adults in achieving their GED and to promote workforce development among our military veterans and others.
To be successful, Mississippi Public Broadcasting now needs the input, energy, ideas and financial support from the corporate and community leaders of Mississippi as well as from our educators and elected officials. In the pages that follow, you will learn more about this exciting project and how your support will be carefully invested to inform, educate, inspire and showcase the state of Mississippi.
Your investment in Focus on the Future will be good business and good citizenship—an investment that will bring a valuable return and significant new opportunities for all, while creating a better educated workforce for your business.
With enthusiasm and excitement for the
future of Mississippi, sincerely,
Darden H. North, MD
Jackson Healthcare for Women
Chair, Mississippi Public Broadcasting Foundation
Mississippi Public Broadcasting Case Statement
The economic recovery in Mississippi has been slower than other parts of the country, forcing the State Legislature to scrutinize, and in some cases, reduce appropriations to state agencies, including Mississippi Public Broadcasting. Ten years ago, in 2008, MPB’s total appropriation was nearly $8.3 million. In fiscal year 2019, which begins July 1, MPB’s total appropriation will be $6.1 million. As cuts take effect, MPB’s funding needs have increased dramatically. MPB has a large lineup of local programming on radio and television that requires resources to produce. The staff at MPB recognizes the need for innovation and desires to expand its range of services with help from private sources.
Here are some of the needs that MPB would address, with your help, during the next five years:
Early Childhood Education
Many 3-4 year olds rely on MPB educational programming to catch up
MPB wants to partner with Mississippi Community College System (MSCC) to help 700,000 high school drop-outs obtain their GED and enroll in a workforce development program.
Increase the number of Mississippi teachers receiving MPB’s e-Learning continuing education programs from 1,400 to 7,000.
Assist Veterans in the Workforce
MPB will connect veterans with resources for workforce training and future jobs.
Public Safety/Civic Engagement
MPB has eight towers, eight transmitters for television, eight transmitters for radio, and 11 microwave units to create the most powerful communications system in the state.
New and Expanded Mississippi Focused Programing
In addition to our already popular Emmy Award winning shows, Focus on the Future would allow MPB to create more programs of interest to Mississippians.
Increase Wellness & Healthcare Programming
Through health and wellness programming, MPB wants to improve the quality of life for all Mississippians.