Junior Auxiliary kicks off a new school year

TUPELO – Tupelo’s Junior Auxiliary kicked off another school year by hosting a luncheon for Tupelo and Lee County educators and reminding them of the services the organization offers for children.
The organization already has completed a school supply drive and will host a jeans drive at the end of September and beginning of October. It also coordinates eye doctor appointments, funds field trips and provides clothing for needy children.
Junior Auxiliary’s Drama Queens will host a play for school children in October. Last year’s play was about bullying.
“Our programs only happen because of your expertise in knowing our children on a personal level,” JA School-Aid Chairman Julie Smith told the administrators, nurses and counselors gathered on Thursday.
JA President Pam Smith said that the national foundation will focus this year on reducing the epidemic of teen suicides, the third leading cause of death for youths ages 10 to 24.
She told the educators about a free online resource they could use to help with suicide prevention.
“You as educators spend more time every day with our children, and you may be the one to notice the warning signs,” Pam Smith said.
Last year, the Junior Auxiliary served 3,440 children, Pam Smith said.
“Any need we have, they are there to support us,” Parkway Elementary Principal Joan Dozier said. “It would be a very different job without Junior Auxiliary.”
Lee County School Board President Sherry Mask said she is thankful for the organization’s work with her district.
“Many of the members have children in the Tupelo School District so we appreciate that they include us too,” Mask said.

Chris Kieffer/NEMS Daily Journal