Philadelphia boosting kids confidence before state testing

PHILADELPHIA, Miss. (WTOK) -- Philadelphia Elementary School is rallying students ahead of state testing with the "We Believe" event.

(Photo Source: Courtesy Cassie Henson)

With the help of the community and school district, Ward 4 Alderwoman Cassie Henson organized the event at the Neshoba County Coliseum.

Henson says the idea for the event came to her one night when she was praying for the children in the community. She says the failing grade the elementary school received affected a lot of students' self-esteem.

"These test scores are very important and the kids' spirits were down, so this was a way to uplift them and let them know that we are behind them," said Henson. "We do believe they can do anything they set their mind to."

Principal Travis Creel said he was immediately on board with the idea when Henson brought it to him. Creel says after last year, students had become discouraged and disappointed.

"That's where our kids were at the end of last year starting this year," said Creel. "So we're encouraging them to do their best, and that one test doesn't define who you are. That doesn't define who we are as a school. "

Creel says many people volunteered their time for the event. State testing at Philadelphia Elementary starts next week.