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Early Years Network opens 17th resource and referral site
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.
By combining their efforts, residents of Poplarville and surrounding communities will be able to use lending library materials, such as books, toys and puzzles, while also having access to early child care professionals as a resource at the center.
Last Tuesday’s ribbon-cutting ceremony was the culmination of local determination to improve the lives of children in the community, as well as the realization of a dream for Pearl River Community College President William Lewis.
Lewis reflected on the importance of high-quality, early-childhood education to the Poplarville community.
“The benefits of early education can’t be measured immediately, but in 25 years we will see the difference this center has made in intellectual capital, behavior in schools and impact on the community,” Lewis said.
Louise E. Davis, director of the Early Years Network, thanked the many volunteers who contributed to making the facility a reality. Local volunteers, including Brenda Wells, director of institutional research at the community college, played important roles in the center’s success. Donations from the Lower Pearl River Valley Foundation and other groups also were crucial in resource center’s creation.
“We look forward to working with Pearl River Community College and the community to make a difference in the lives of more Mississippians now and in the years ahead,” Davis said.
Carolyn Tedford, certification manager for Poplarville’s Excel By 5 program, said the facility is more than just a building.
“It shows the heart of the community and the outstanding support, volunteers and resources that helped create a center in Poplarville,” Tedford said.
Resource center officials will soon notify patrons when learning materials will be available for check out and use.
The Early Years Network is a program housed in the MSU Extension Service and funded by the Mississippi Department of Human Services Division of Early Childhood Care and Development to provide early care and education programs and materials for teachers, directors, children and families to improve the well-being of Mississippi’s children. For more information, visit the Early Years Network Facebook page or http://earlyyearsnetwork.msucares.com.