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OKOLONA, Miss. (WCBI) – A historic graduation celebration took place in Okolona this afternoon at the Baby Steps foundation.

Three children who enrolled in the program before Kindergarten are now graduating and preparing to enter the fourth grade next year.

Baby Steps was founded by the late Okolona native William Raspberry with a focus on teaching low-income parents how to better prepare their pre-schoolers for school. Three trees were planted at today’s celebration in memory of Raspberry. There is a plum, a pear and a pecan tree.

Rising fourth grader De’Corian Judd said, “I’ve been in Baby Steps for a long time, and they helped me pass the 3rd, 2nd and 1st grade. I got my diploma and my trophy.”

Judd’s grandmother Verdine Judd explained how important the schooling was for her grandson. “I’m just blessed to know someone cares about our children even when the money is not here, the heart will speak for itself.”

Today’s celebration marked the programs very first graduation.

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