University of Southern Mississippi President Rodney D. Bennett handed out “diplomas” to 25 youngsters during a special 40th anniversary graduation ceremony at The Children’s Center for Communication and Development on Friday, May 16.
A total of 27 children comprised the 2014 graduating class at The Children’s Center. Those attending the ceremony included Mississippi First Lady Deborah Bryant. Following the ceremony, the Center held an open house to celebrate 40 years of service to Southern Miss and the surrounding area.
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 has grown to be a recognized leader in services for very young children with disabilities,” said Center Director Sarah Case-Price. “We will continue to hold to our principles of being family focused and doing what is best for children with disabilities.”
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