Graduation festivities at The Children’s Center for Communication and Development at The University of Southern Mississippi will carry special significance this spring as the Center celebrates its 40th commencement service on Friday, May 16.
The annual ceremony will begin at 9:30 a.m. at the J.B. George Building on the Hattiesburg campus. Twenty-five children, ages 5-and-under, with disabilities will “graduate” from The Children’s Center in a 40th graduation and anniversary celebration. Southern Miss President Rodney D. Bennett will hand out diplomas. Mississippi’s First Lady Deborah Bryant also is scheduled to join in the celebration. The public is invited to an open house following the graduation event.
The Children’s Center opened its doors in the fall of 1974, pioneering early intervention services in Mississippi for children with disabilities. Originally known as the Preschool Language Program, The Children's Center started with less than a half-dozen 4 and 5 year olds in small, but exceptional, therapy space.
Today The Children’s Center occupies nearly 5,000 square feet of state-of-the-art therapy space and classrooms, and provides direct transdisciplinary services to more than 100 children ages birth through age 5 from more than 25 counties. The Children’s Center provides direct and indirect services state-wide, including ad hoc consultations, preprofessional training to college and university students, and professional support for practicing professionals.
The Children’s Center, a United Way Agency, is a clinical program within the Department of Speech and Hearing Sciences. Services are provided at the Hattiesburg campus and limited services are provided at the Southern Miss Gulf Park campus. To learn more about The Children’s Center, call 601.266.5222 or visit: http://www.usm.edu/early-intervention-childrens