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Musgrove Praises Volunteer Efforts
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Lt. Gov. Ronnie Musgrove and agricultural leaders at Mississippi State University recently praised Mississippi's Homemaker Volunteers for their efforts to improve family life across the state.
Musgrove addressed the organization during their annual meeting at MSU on May 18.
"What you do is try to improve the lives of children so they will be more productive adults and better citizens," Musgrove said. "The work you do across the state in our communities is so important."
Dr. Ron Brown, director of the MSU Extension Service, commended the members for almost $5 million in volunteer hours and service to the state in 1998. Among other accomplishments, Brown said the homemaker volunteers provide 3,000 therapy dolls annually to the Children's Hospital in Jackson for use by physicians and child-life specialists in teaching patients about illnesses, treatments and surgical procedures -- a $90,000 value.
"Members have conducted active statewide campaigns to increase awareness of child abuse, and they successfully lobbied for better child safety restraint laws and continue to make the public more aware of the importance of buckling children in vehicles," Brown said. "Many of you have volunteered as mentors and tutors for young students and worked in community beautification projects."
The homemaker volunteers also continue to work for a law lowering the legal blood alcohol content for driving and making seat belt usage a primary law in Mississippi.
Musgrove encouraged the members to stay active in the legislative process. He said those working in the Senate also want to improve the lives of people in Mississippi and acknowledged a loss of respect for people in authority.
"We've increased pay for teachers to try to entice and retain teachers in the profession, and we still want to increase their salaries to the Southeastern average," he said. "We've increased funding for afterschool programs to help keep kids off the street and further their education."
Musgrove encouraged the homemaker volunteers to continue their efforts developing early morning and afterschool activities for children and to stay involved in children's lives by tutoring.
"Other than parents and ministers, no one can have a more positive influence on our kids than our teachers," Musgrove said.
The lieutenant governor stressed the importance of an educated, trained workforce in the state to help attract jobs.
"Better paying jobs will enable parents to spend more time with their children by reducing the need for working two jobs to make enough money," Musgrove said.