2010 PRC Partners in Leadership make a difference

Published 5:16 am Sunday, December 5, 2010

Members of the 2010 Pearl River County Partners in Leadership program have completed their class project just in time for Christmas. The project plan was to publish a book written by local children for local children entered into the foster home program and  likely to be relocated outside of Pearl River County. The book, “Go Wild for Pearl River County!,” will be in the hands of potentially hundreds of foster children through “The Pajama Program.”

Tracy Stockstill, wife of team member Chris Stockstill, says, “‘The Pajama Program’ is a nonprofit organization that provides new books and pajamas for local children in the foster care system. This organization has been in operation for 10 years. It has been featured on the Oprah show a couple of times. One can donate money or new books and pajamas by using their website, www.pajamaprogram.org.”

A few of the 2010 Class Graduates: Patricia Drackett; Darlene Adams; and Chris Stockstill explained the book project and what it meant to all involved.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

Darlene Adams says, “Our Leadership Class was divided into two groups. Each group had to take a project. Our team member’s wife was very active in a pajama program for foster children. We decided to support the program based on the knowledge that so many foster children in our area leave the county to go elsewhere due to lack of foster care providers in Pearl River County.”

Chris Stockstill says, “Over 170 kids, this year, are expected to be recipients through “The Pajama Program.” We have had a spike in the community need, due to crystal meth and drug activities.”

“We decided on a book project because we wanted to do something for conservation and our team liked the idea of peers helping peers. We thought a book of wildlife, which was specific to their home area, would be meaningful to the children and be good bedtime reading,” says Adams.

Drackett says, “We involved more than 200 students, families, and teachers in this project. We raised money to publish a book by children in the community to benefit other children in ‘The Pajama Program.’ We chose four winners and from entries and out of the four chose a Best Overall to be on the front cover. Tyler Hartman was the entrant who won that award. His art was unveiled at a reception.”

The book features local wildlife art and an account of why that animal was chosen by 28 students selected from five area elementary schools. Some stories are charming, while others are amusing— they all made an impression. Most touching, is the blank back page of the book. It allows the owner to write their own wildlife story and draw a picture to finish their book.

Chris Stockstill says, “If you would like a book for either yourself or a special little someone in your life, you can contact the Partners’ office at 601-749-4919. They will supply you with a book for a donation of $10 or more. Anyone wanting to know more about “The Pajama Program” can contact my wife, Tracy,  at 601-347-6573.”

For more information on how to become a foster parent, call the Mississippi Department of Human Services Adoption Hotline Toll-Free at 1-800-821-9157.