The Mississippi Department of Education will be meeting with parents of kindergarten through 3rd grade students as part of its efforts to help districts implement the Literacy-Based Promotion Act.

The legislation requires that 3rd grade students who do not meet reading standards by the end of the 3rd grade be held back a year.

Parents will receive an overview of the legislation and a sample test, as well as strategies that can be used to help improve literacy for children.

“Parents are their child’s first teacher, and reading with children is a proven way to promote early literacy,” said Dr. Kymyona Burk, state literacy director. “By reading with children for 20 minutes per day and making a few simple strategies a part of their daily routine, parents can make a positive impact on their child’s success in school.”

The dates for the meetings are:

Feb. 16: Oxford (Oxford Conference Center)

Feb. 21: Jackson (North, McWillie Elementary School)

Feb. 21: Jackson (South, Bates Elementary School)

Feb. 21: Meridian (MSU Kahlmus Auditorium)

Feb. 23: Gulfport (Harrison County School District Center for Excellence)

Feb. 27: Cleveland (Delta State University Jacob Center, Ewing Hall)

Feb. 28: Hattiesburg, Woodall Center

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Kate Royals is a Jackson native and returned to Mississippi Today as the lead education reporter after serving in the same capacity from 2016 to 2018. Prior to that, she was a reporter for the Clarion-Ledger covering education and state government. She won awards for her investigative work, including stories about the state’s campaign finance laws and prison system. She was a news producer at MassLive in Springfield, Mass., after graduating from Louisiana State University’s Manship School of Mass Communications with a master’s degree in communications.