Mt. Zion Education Center
When Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast, Ellen Ratner responded by traveling with a U-Haul full of relief supplies to the community of Pass Christian, Mississippi. She has developed deep friendships with many of the town's residents and returned several times. The proceeds from the sale of this book will go to build and support a community/education center that will serve the Katrina survivors of Pass Christian and neighboring DeLisle. This community center is the first phase in fulfilling the vision Rev. Rosemary Williams has for her community—to create opportunity for children and young adults to learn and develop, to dream and achieve those dreams.
Five acres of land will be developed to provide young adults with GED, computer, and other job training that will give them the skills to participate in the recovery of their community; Katrina washed away many jobs previously held in the area. During non-school hours, the center will serve the children of the community as the only after-school facility in the area. Eventually, routine healthcare education and services will also be provided at the center.
There was one Boys and Girls Club in Pass Christian, but Katrina destroyed it. The nearest facility for children is located in the town of Gulfport, Mississippi, approximately twenty minutes away, and many parents cannot afford to make the trip.
To date the land has been purchased and the plans have been drawn up for the center. It will be located at 6815 Kiln-DeLisle Road in Pass Christian, Mississippi. The property is within walking distance of the DeLisle Elementary School, which is now the only school in the area for children in kindergarten through twelfth grade. There are approximately one thousand children currently attending the school, most of them in temporary classrooms.
Rev. Rosemary’s parish house is across the street from the center at the new Mt. Zion United Methodist Church, which will be completed in the spring of 2006.The church property includes an additional twenty acres on which to develop affordable housing for Katrina’s survivors, another vision that Reverend Williams plans to fulfill.
Find out how you can help the people of Pass Christian and DeLisle, Mississippi build this much-needed community center.
Download a pdf of the plans for the community center.