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Mississippi has a kindergarten readiness crisis. This teacher is determined not to let her students stay behind. Wochit, Wochit

VAUGHAN — When Antroine Anderson started kindergarten in this close-knit rural town last August, he knew just three words by sight. He mistook H for G, confused L and I, and identified M as F.

Accustomed to being called A.J. by his family, Antroine didn’t recognize his name in print. His mother, Janice Barton, felt ashamed when she learned some of his peers were already writing their names — until she learned many others weren’t prepared for kindergarten, either.

In Antroine’s rural Yazoo County school district, one of every 10 students had to

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