The Ecru building, clad in “native stone,” retains its exterior features, including pent awnings over the doors and 9/9 double hung sash windows. (Mississippi Department of Archives and History, Historic Resources Inventory)
While I have seen these before, I don’t recall hearing the term “pent awning.” The term “pent roof” was more common in explaining the function of the overhang to shed water away from the foundation, for example:
PENT ROOF A narrow shed style roof placed above the first floor of a building to protect the doors, windows and lower walls, often covering all four sides of the building. (http://www.portal.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt/community/architectural_field_guide/2370/dictionary_of_architectural_terms/445407)
In early designs, the awning covered the entire front of the house, and in some cases, completely covered the house on all sides. It fell out of fashion, but the use as awnings continued. For example, the Ripley Historic District survey describes 29 buildings with pent awnings, and one with pent roof.
The National Youth Administration (NYA) was a division of the Works Progress Administration (WPA). President Roosevelt created the NYA with executive order following intense lobbying, primarily by First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt, to provide vocational skills training to 16-25 year olds, as well as provision of stipends to enable them to continue their education. Mississippi Department of Archives and History identified 64 NYA school projects in Mississippi! Road Trip!!! Anyone want to come along? You can also see photographs of NYA projects in Mississippi at this link–take the time to check them out!