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Snow in March?
On March 21-22, 1968 a snowstorm blew into North Mississippi with accumulations up to umpteen inches according to those who survived to exaggerate the story. Question is: Do you think we will experience snowfall with accumulation this March?

During their spring break last week North Panola students (from left) Robert, Dayday, James, Aubrey and Eric assembled a package full of brochures and information about Como, in response to an Iowa student’s request to know more about Mississippi. The young men were spending the afternoon at the Como Public Library. Photo provided
Packages full of Mississippi headed to Iowa student

By Rita Howell
At least two groups got busy last week in response to a letter to The Panolian editor from an Iowa fifth grader named Thomas who requested Mississippi information for his social studies class.

Spring break patrons at the Como library assembled a care package and the staff at The Panolian put together a box of Mississippi and Panola-related materials.

Thomas, a student in Mrs. Newlin’s social studies class in Harlan, Iowa, had explained that his class is studying the history and geography of the United States and he drew Mississippi as his research project. He asked for “a souvenir, postcards and information about your wonderful state,” and inquired about “your football team.”

His teacher, he said, is collecting license tags and would like one from Mississippi.
  In Como, librarian Alice Pierotti composed a letter to Thomas, explaining the contents in the package they were sending.

“First of all, thanks for writing to a newspaper in Mississippi to learn more about our state.  Here at the Como library, we work very hard to give Mississippians a chance to tell their story and we appreciate you asking us about our state because you know we’ll tell you a better story than one you will read in a history book. 

“You’ve got a good teacher showing you the best way to learn, so whatever you do in life, pay attention to how she is showing you to be curious about the world.

“I talked to some of our library patrons about what they’d want you to know about our small town of Como, Mississippi, population 1,200.  We’re currently out of school on spring break so we had a few young patrons in the library today.  Most of the boys who helped me assemble the package are in the 8th grade at North Panola Jr. High School. 

“Here’s a list of what we’re sending:
•For your teacher, a license plate!  This was given to us by the Mississippi Public Broadcasting program Mississippi Roads, who came to Como to film a segment on our world famous Como Steakhouse and interview our very special gospel group, The Como Mamas.  Here’s a link to the show (maybe you can watch it in class?)
•For the students, some materials from our recent 2014 Como Reads programming.  This year’s community read (where we all read the same book and talk about it) was Glory Be by Augusta Scattergood (she’s a native Mississippi author).  The book is set in 1964 Mississippi during the Civil Rights Movement.  
CATALYST (Como Altruistic Teens and Library Youth Serving Together) put together a brochure of local sites important to 1964 Mississippi Freedom Summer.  We’re including some other materials to show you how we partner with the school to make learning about our own history really fun!
•Our town is a blues town.  We have three markers on the Mississippi Blues Trail for Como musicians Fred McDowell, Otha Turner and Napoleon Strickland.  
Our town is a good example of a creative economy.  That means that while we may live in poverty and not have a lot of money, we support the arts and artists and are very rich in those ways.  We have many musicians from the area who play a style of music called hill country blues.  But we also have world class musicians who sing gospel and other styles of music.  We’re making music at the library constantly and we encourage patrons who have an interest to write songs, record their music, make an instrument or just think about how the world can be a better place with art in it.
We are so glad you gave us the opportunity to show you about Como, Mississippi. “
Meanwhile, the Panolian staff, on a slow news day, assembled their own package for Thomas, including  maps, copies of The Panolian, Batesville The Magazine, the 2013 Panolian Football Magazine, the Panolian’s commemorative football book, and a picture of the staff posed beside the press.
Managing editor Rupert Howell contributed an old license tag.
In addition, a call to Special T’s yielded a donation of a South Panola Tigers football t-shirt.

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