News & Events


April 7th, 2009

The Jackson Medical Mall Community Room serves as the backdrop for Parents for Public Schools’ monthly Lunch Bunch series, sponsored by BancorpSouth. While normally led by PPS Executive Director Susan Womack, this past Wednesday’s program showcased parents. Their presentations reflected on their experience with PPS’ Leadership Institute – a parent advocacy training program that helps parents become more involved in improving public schools to enhance academic achievement for all students. At the lunch, Shoestring staffers ran into Shoestring parents.

Pictured (L-R) Shoestring Deputy Director Dr. Martha Alexander, Stamp-Out Drop-Out (SODO) parent Kathy Sykes, Project KIDS parent Toni Lewis, and Shoestring Executive Director Robert Langford. Photo provided by Pam Confer, Communication Manager for PPS.

Parents for Public Schools, click here


April 7th, 2009

Operation Shoestring has long believed that the ground work for self-sufficiency and community empowerment begins with education. Representatives from like-minded organizations recently spoke on the subject with this year’s class of Leadership Greater Jackson at Shoestring’s Ellen Harris Center. Rhea Williams-Bishop (left) serves as the Executive Director of Mississippi’s chapter of SPARK, Supporting Partnerships to Assure Ready Kids. The organization advocates the preparation of children rising to school age. Kelly Butler (right) is the Director of Program Strategy for the Barksdale Reading Institute. It emphasizes reading skills by placing highly-trained instructors in schools throughout the state. Special thanks go to Leadership Greater Jackson Executive Director Shirley Tucker for including Operation Shoestring once again.

MS Chapter of SPARK, click here
Barksdale Reading Institute, click here
Leadership Greater Jackson, click here


March 17th, 2009

Just wanted to let everybody know that advance Operation Spring Fling tickets are now available in person at both Be-Bop Record Shops (Maywood & Metrocenter), through Ticketmaaster over the phone (800.745.3000) or Ticketmaster online here.

Can’t wait to see everybody on Friday April 17th!


March 11th, 2009

On Thursday, February 26th, parents and families of Project KIDS children filled Shoestring’s Ellen Harris Center for this year’s Black History Program: “The Making of History and What’s to Come.”

The afternoon opened with a prayer, a reading from Psalm 31, and a greeting – all from PK students. The 4th and 5th graders led the way with a speech choir recitation of “Lift Every Voice and Sing.” They were followed by 1st graders saluting noted African American athletes. Heralded African American writers were next highlighted by 2nd and 3rd graders. And the kindergartners presented “Holding on to Your Dreams.”

A special treat was an inspiring musical appearance by the Anointed Family of Mime that delighted children and adults alike. OS Deputy Director Dr. Alexander concluded the program with an affirmed call-to-action for parents to join in Shoestring’s efforts. Special thanks go to Mrs. Jefferson and all the PK staff for staging such a special event.


March 11th, 2009

Although he’s full time husband of Project KIDS Coordinator Demunthra, Clarence Jefferson has a part time alter ego as well. On Friday, February 20, the children of OS’s Project KIDS received a visit from none other than Mr. Bubba. He stopped by to tell the eager girls and boys about the importance of Black History. Mr. Bubba and the PK children discussed the Emancipation Proclamation, Rosa Parks’ courage, and President Obama’s milestone.


March 11th, 2009

Eight young men from Project KIDS have recently been rehearsing with Margaret Thomas and the Mississippi Boychoir. And on February 27th, they performed for their classmates at Galloway Elementary on Bailey Avenue. Music and the arts are a key part of Shoestring’s sense of enrichment. (Photo by Greg Jenson/The Clarion-Ledger)

February 20th, 2009

Friday, April 17, 2009
The Mississippi Museum of Art
6:30pm – 10:00pm

Slap on your favorite blue jeans and head to the Mississippi Museum of Art on Friday, April 17th for Operation Spring Fling: A Benefit for Operation Shoestring. Sample some delicious delicacies and dig some soulful sounds to benefit some wonderful children and families in Central Jackson.


Tickets for this festive fundraiser will be $40 in advance and $50 at the door. Soon we will be posting information on how to purchase tickets “in advance.”


February 4th, 2009

Operation Shoestring’s television advertisement is now up and running. The 30 second piece is comprised of animated crayon drawings made by children in our Project KIDS afterschool program. Additionally, PK Coordinator Demunthra Jefferson lent her pipes for the voiceover. You may recognize the background music by Jackson’s own The Vamps. “Samba 64″ is a composition written by the band’s guitarist Barry Leach. Wes Williams penned the copy for the spot, and Josh Schooler designed the layout. The pair worked on the project as part of the Ramey Agency’s generous gift to Shoestring in the form of donated billable hours. Ramey CEO Chris Ray sits on Shoestring’s Board of Directors.

At the end of December, the commercial ran 10 times on the Hallmark and Family Channels. Presently the ad is in the pro-bono rotations of local affiliates.

Here are two places to see our ad:
Shoestring Website


February 4th, 2009

In continuing with an annual tradition of celebrating Black History Month, Shoestring’s Project KIDS will present “The Making of History and What’s To Come” on Thursday, February 26th at 5:30 in the Ellen Harris Center on Bailey Avenue. The program will include tributes to accomplished African Americans in the fields of athletics, science, and literature, as well as, thoughtful words from a speech choir. Any and all are encouraged to attend these enriching festivities.


February 4th, 2009

During the second week of the year, the Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church, Katharine Jefferts Schori, visited the Diocese of Mississippi. Among her stops was Jackson’s Marshall Elementary for a forum on public education. Shoestring’s Executive Director Robert Langford was fortunate enough to have been included in the program.

The following picture from the January 9th forum ran in the latest issue of The Mississippi Episcopalian. From L – R: Lisa Percy of the William Winter Institute, OS’ Robert Langford. Thanks go to Scott Lenoir for the photo.