An $80,000 grant from the Lower Pearl River Valley Foundation to the DuBard School for Language Disorders will help pay for intensive speech-language services for children from Pearl River County.
The foundation recently approved the grant to the DuBard School, which has been serving children with severe communication disorders for 45 years at The University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg.
Enrollment for the 2009-10 school year is being finalized but preliminary data shows eight to 10 children from Pearl River County will be enrolled as full-time students or to receive service as out-clients, said Dr. Maureen Martin, DuBard school director.
The school enrolls 80 full-time students each year and also serves as a learning laboratory for Southern Miss students under the supervision of nationally-certified speech-language pathologists and educators of the deaf.
"In recent years, we have had interns from Picayune and Pearl River County serve at the DuBard School," said Clyde Dease, foundation president. "This partnership will be extremely meaningful to parents and children from our community, as they will significantly benefit from what the DuBard School and its staff have to offer."
The families of students at the DuBard School do not pay for the services, which cost about $17,600 annually for a full-time student, Martin said. The state Department of Education picks up only 60 percent of the cost, she said.
"This most generous grant from the Lower Pearl River Valley Foundation will help to provide intensive services to children from Pearl River County," she said. "Children challenged with severe speech-language disorders, hearing loss and/or the written language disorder of dyslexia will benefit from the highly specialized DuBard Association Method curriculum with the goal of returning to their local schools with the skills needed for academic success.
"It’s going to change the lives of the children and their families."
Healthy children have been a priority of the Lower Pearl River Valley Foundation since its inception, said Dr. Ted Alexander, chief executive officer.
"We look forward to this partnership with the DuBard School and we know that this grant has the potential to make a difference in the quality of life for the children at DuBard and, correspondingly, for their families.”
Dr. Ted Alexander, chief executive officer of the Lower Pearl River Valley Foundation, presents an $80,000 grant to Dr. Maureen Martin, director of the DuBard School for Language Disorders at The University of Southern Mississippi. Also pictured from left are Christie Brady, DuBard School development coordinator; Josh Hernandez, Southern Miss Foundation director of corporate and foundation relations; and Sid Whitley, Lower Pearl River Valley Foundation financial officer. (Submitted Photo)
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The University of Southern Mississippi, founded in 1910, is a comprehensive doctoral and research-extensive university fulfilling its mission of being a leading university in engaging and empowering individuals to transform lives and communities. In a tradition of leadership for student development, Southern Miss is educating a 21st century work force providing intellectual capital, cultural enrichment and innovation to Mississippi and the world. Southern Miss is located in Hattiesburg, Miss., with an additional campus and teaching and research sites on the Mississippi Gulf Coast; further information is found at www.usm.edu.