Leah Ward

Leah Ward
President and Chair
Email Leah Ward Email Leah Ward

506 W. Monroe Street
Okolona, MS 38860

William J. Raspberry
Founder and Visionary

What is BabySteps

BabySteps is designed to teach mostly low-income parents of preschoolers how to prepare their children for success in school and in life -- even if the parents themselves never experienced much success in school. Target clients are parents of children from birth to age 5. The program provides resources, training, books and instruction, including home visits during which appropriate intellectual and language development skills are modeled. Although BabySteps staff works with children in auxiliary programs, its primary endeavors reach children by engaging their parents through workshops, talk sessions, home visits and training seminars run by specialists in early-childhood education.

The program was initiated by long-time Washington Post columnist William Raspberry, who became concerned about the low school achievement levels in his hometown of Okolona, Mississippi. His hope is not only to improve the test scores of the children once they enter school but also, by rallying all elements of the town around the academic success of its young children, to help to transform the racially-riven town into a community that values and actively supports learning.

BabySteps is governed by an active board of directors.

BabySteps Board of Directors

Leah Ward, Chair

Loyd Eaton

Marilyn Sue Grubbs

Eddie Prather

Patricia Raspberry

Eric Stringfellow

Sonja E. Swygert

Teresa Williams

Program Components

Parent Education

Education Enrichment

Health and Wellness

Community Partnerships


Baby Steps, Inc., c/o CREATE Foundation, P.O. Box 1053, Tupelo, MS 38802
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