Hometown Heroes: Local teacher volunteers time to teach prisoners

Hometown Heroes

RAYMOND, Miss. (WJTV) – A Hinds Community College teacher teaches not just students, but prisoners too.

Laura Hammons is an English teacher who has been teaching for more than 20 years. When she is not teaching students she is volunteering her time to teach prisoners. But before these prisoners were convicted, they served our country.

“When I had the chance to meet these veterans I discovered painful truths that a lot of what they had gone through had been a result of being in war,” said Hammons.

Hammons has been volunteering for almost four years now at the Central Mississippi Correction Facility.

“There is not a curriculum for my class because my class is sort of a free flowing class,” said Hammons.

At the moment the topic is “Gullivers Travels,” by Jonathan Swift. Hammons does not stop at teaching veterans at the prison, she teaches women too.

“Neither one of them had books,” said Hammons, “So I decided I would get as many books to them and pens as I could. And the administration at the prison was incredibly kind to let me do that.”

Hammons made them a library. They now have more than five thousand books.

“Every book in that library came through my car or on my back,” said Hammons.

Hammons does not stop there. She wants to make sure the prisoners know someone cares over the holidays, so she bakes them cookies too.

“They do not get care packages and they do not get any acknowledgement,” said Hammons, “These people fought in Vietnam, Afghanistan, or Iraq. The cookies are really my way of saying thank you for what you have done for the country.”

Hammons said she could not have given the prisoners books or cookies without the help of other people who donate from across the country.

Hammons is still accepting books. If you would like to donate, drop the books off at the Hinds Community College library at the Raymond Campus.

If you know someone that goes above and beyond the community, send an email to heroes@wjtv.com

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