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LaTonya Hill stands outside Tonya’s Learning Center, her new licensed child care center in Waynesboro, Mississippi on Feb. 18, 2016.
March 10, 2016 - Filed Under: Children and Parenting

WAYNESBORO, Miss. -- Almost 10 years after graduating from college with the plan of opening her own child care center, LaTonya Hill’s dream will come true.

Hill’s new center on Hudson Lane will serve 35 children in toddler and pre-K classrooms.

February 29, 2016 - Filed Under: Family Dynamics

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- The foundation of a healthy marriage rests on the solid ground of communication.

Karen Benson, an agent of the Mississippi State University Extension Service in Neshoba County who conducts family life programs, said couples are able to grow closer emotionally when they open up about their hopes and needs.

“Conflict is inevitable, but marriage does not have to be a struggle,” she said. “We learn to negotiate and learn more about ourselves when we work out solutions to conflicts.”

February 16, 2016 - Filed Under: Children and Parenting

CANTON, Miss. -- Families in the Canton area have a new place to visit and borrow educational books, toys and games.

The grand opening of the Central Mississippi Resource and Referral Center will be Feb. 22 at 3 p.m. The center is located at 175 North Union Street in The Grand Old Post Office.

The Early Years Network, in collaboration with Excel By 5, invites parents, community members, and early education and care providers to stop by and meet the staff, see the resources available and learn more about services offered.

Sticking to a budget requires a well-thought-out, reasonable spending plan that includes all family or individual expenses. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Kevin Hudson)
January 11, 2016 - Filed Under: Family Financial Management

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Creating a reasonable spending plan and reducing debt should be top priorities when it comes to living a well-budgeted life.

Rita Green, assistant Extension professor and state specialist for financial management in the Mississippi State University School of Human Sciences, said developing a budget helps families establish a vision for their spending.

January 5, 2016 - Filed Under: Pets

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals has awarded the Mississippi State University College of Veterinary Medicine a grant to support the college’s Mobile Veterinary Clinics.

The $20,000 grant will help offset some of the expenses incurred as the Mobile Veterinary Clinics travel to 20 north Mississippi animal shelters, where students spay and neuter homeless animals. The program is funded solely by grants and donations.

Shelters for pets, such as this cat box, provide a dry place to eat and a warm bed to escape cold weather. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Kevin Hudson)
December 16, 2015 - Filed Under: Pets

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- The holiday season can be just as much fun for pets as it is for their owners if they are treated with love and care.

Dr. Joey Burt, associate clinical professor and hospital director at the Mississippi State University College of Veterinary Medicine, said pets should be treated as small children and not be kept outside in extreme weather.

November 25, 2015 - Filed Under: Family
November 20, 2015 - Filed Under: About Extension, FARMtastic, Children and Parenting

Mark Peterman, on right, an aquaculture associate with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, shows a catfish to Weir Elementary students Taylor Hunt and Derrick Floyd at FARMtastic in Starkville on Nov. 20, 2015. FARMtastic is an experience-based Extension program that teaches kids where food, fiber and fuel come from. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Kat Lawrence)

November 13, 2015 - Filed Under: Family

RAYMOND, Miss. -- Holiday gift lists often include co-workers, but shoppers should be mindful of a few etiquette rules before hitting the stores.

“Always check company policies before buying gifts,” said Susan Cosgrove, an agent with the Mississippi State University Extension Service in Newton County.

If employers allow gift exchanges, be sure to keep it professional.

Cosgrove said it is okay to give a boss or supervisor a gift, but it should be done as a group or department.

November 10, 2015 - Filed Under: Family, Food

In a fast-paced world, the once commonplace gathering of family members at the dinner table to enjoy a home-cooked meal is an often forgotten activity.

The Mississippi State University Extension Service and Mississippi Association of Family and Consumer Sciences are sponsoring Dining In, a Dec. 3 observation to encourage families to return to the dinner table tradition in an effort to promote planning healthy meals and quality time with loved ones.

That date also marks the second annual celebration of Family and Consumer Sciences Day.

Anyone with a smartphone, email account or tablet is vulnerable to having personal information stolen unless they have the right safeguards and know the warning signs of phishing attempts. (Photo by CanStock)
October 23, 2015 - Filed Under: Technology, Family Financial Management

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- “Phishermen” do not need lures or worms to get their prized catch; the only bait they need is a good scheme.

Anyone can be phished -- tricked through electronic fraud into unknowingly forfeiting sensitive personal and financial information, such as password and credit card details. In many cases, the result of a successful “phishing trip” is an empty bank account for the victim.

This is an image of Anna Hughes, a field technical assistant with the Early Years Network helped with post-tornado child care at a Red Cross Shelter in Louisville, MS in May, 2014.
October 16, 2015 - Filed Under: Disaster Response-Youth, Family Dynamics

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- One of the most difficult tasks a parent or provider will face is guiding children through the grief and instability brought on by tragedy.

Natural disasters, terrorism, mass shootings, deaths of loved ones, or acts of domestic or physical violence are traumatic for everyone. When faced with these events, children and adults alike experience feelings of fear, helplessness and anxiety. However, children have very little, if any, experience in properly dealing with those feelings.

September 30, 2015 - Filed Under: Children and Parenting

POPLARVILLE, Miss. -- Early childhood education proponents pulled together to establish Mississippi’s 17th resource and referral center on the Pearl River Community College campus.

The Early Years Network, a program of the Mississippi State University Extension Service, partnered with Excel By 5 and the community college to open the new center.

Katherine Weatherby is surrounded by her 2-year-old grandchildren (from left) Zirean Davis, G’Niereya Alston and Bryson Ward at her home in Sallis, Mississippi, on Aug. 20, 2015. (Photo by MSU Human Sciences/Amy Barefield)
September 10, 2015 - Filed Under: Family Dynamics

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Grandparents provide a loving, low-cost and flexible alternative to center-based child care for many families across Mississippi. The benefits to the parents, children and grandparents in these situations are significant for many reasons.

Nearly 11 million children under the age of 5 in the United States go to some type of child care for an average of 36 hours each week. Some children are in multiple child care settings because of their parents’ nontraditional working hours.

Early Years Network field technical assistant Norma Hayes (left) worked with Eloise Barnett (center) to get Lil’s Angels Family Center in Hattiesburg up and running after Hurricane Katrina. Barnett’s sister, Patricia Hughes also works at the center. (File photo by MSU Ag Communications/Kevin Hudson)
August 28, 2015 - Filed Under: Children and Parenting

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- With so much loss after Hurricane Katrina, it would have been easy to overlook some of the state’s most vulnerable citizens: infants, toddlers and preschool children. Families needed to get back to work whenever possible, but without someone to watch their children, what could they do?

Children in the after-school program at the Mississippi State University Child Development and Family Studies Center are eager for the new school year. (Photo by MSU School of Human Sciences/Amy Barefield)
August 20, 2015 - Filed Under: Children and Parenting

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Success in school depends more on the 16 hours spent outside the classroom than many parents may realize. Physical, emotional and social factors at home contribute significantly to academic success.

Students who eat breakfast perform and behave better in school, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Children under 11 need one or two daily servings of fruit and two to four daily servings of vegetables.

Parents can reduce the risk of serious injury and death to children during car accidents by choosing, installing and using car seats properly. (Photo by iStock/RyanJLane)
August 5, 2015 - Filed Under: Family, Children and Parenting

RAYMOND, Miss. -- Parents know car seats are essential for children’s safety, but the task of choosing and installing one can be overwhelming for even the most savvy moms and dads.

“There are many different types of car seats, and parents should do a little research before going to the store,” said Lydia Bethay, associate director of the Mississippi State University Extension Service Early Learning Network. “The most important thing is to get the right seat for your child and to use it properly every time you get in the car, even on short trips.”

A series of floral design workshops kicks off with a how-to for making flower crowns on Aug. 1 at the Coastal Research and Extension Center in Biloxi. Jim DelPrince, a long-time Mississippi State University floral professor who joined the MSU Extension Service as a floral specialist July 1, will conduct the series. (Submitted photo/Jim DelPrince)
July 27, 2015 - Filed Under: Family, Flower Gardens

BILOXI, Miss. -- The first in a six-part floral design workshop series for the public will be Aug. 1 at the Coastal Research and Extension Center in Biloxi.

Long-time Mississippi State University floral professor Jim DelPrince, who joined the MSU Extension Service July 1, will kick off the series with a how-to class on flower crowns.

“All of these programs are hands-on, make-and-take classes,” DelPrince said. “I want the series to reveal who’s out there and what they are interested in learning about, so there are various topics on a variety of days and times.”

July 24, 2015 - Filed Under: Family, Children and Parenting

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- The Early Years Network: Special Needs program is hosting a free Developmental Screening Day from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. in Starkville Aug. 18.

A team of early childhood specialists with the network’s special needs program will conduct screenings at the Child Development and Family Studies Center, located at 501 Collegeview Street in Starkville.

Children 6 months to 5 years will be checked for age-specific physical and educational milestones at no cost to parents.

July 24, 2015 - Filed Under: Family, Children and Parenting

PETAL, Miss. -- The Early Years Network: Special Needs program is hosting a free Developmental Screening Day from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Aug. 18 in Forrest County.

A team of early childhood specialists with the network’s special needs program will conduct screenings at the Petal School District Center for Families and Children, located at 201 West Central Avenue in Petal.

Children 6 months to 5 years will be checked for age-specific physical and educational milestones at no cost to parents.

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