Systematic Efforts for Enhanced Development


This is an archived program and therefore, may not contain current information.


Systematic Efforts for Enhanced Development


Ensuring access to early learning opportunities 


Every child should have the opportunity to grow in a community that respects diversity, values children and their education, and provides conditions for a safe environment. All children should be exposed to meaningful and relevant learning experiences which encourage intellectual, social, emotional, communication, and physical development. 

Guiding Principles

All children should live in natural environments which include families and peers.

Every child is unique and capable.

Learning for all children occurs within the context of their families and communities.

Parents' desires and the values of individual cultures must be respected.

All communities should be accountable for facilitating children's access to quality care, education, and family support services.

Families and children thrive in communities which network and coordinate to make early childhood experiences the foundation for life long learning.

All children have a right to quality healthcare, medical options and access to health resources. 


Enhance learning readiness in at-risk children

Enhance early childhood literacy in natural settings

Coordinate community resources through collaboration with the Hattiesburg Mayor’s Council for Early Learning Opportunities and area service providers


Positive Parent/Child Interactions

Talking with your baby...

Though your baby is not using words to communicate, communication is taking place!

Different ways children communicate with no words.

  • crying
  • smiling
  • moving arms and legs
  • reaching
  • hitting
  • pulling
  • throwing
  • vocalizing
  • looking at objects
  • looking at you
  • laughing
  • pointing

Fun ways to encourage vocalizations and babble.

  • Use sounds for appropriate situations and feelings. For example:
    • Mmmmm That's my favorite cookie!
    • Ooooooh I wonder where it is?
    • Ahhhhhh What a pretty baby!
  • Use words to describe feelings, actions, and situations. While playing with your child, use words to aid in developing language skills. Use words such as.
    • Hello/Bye-bye
    • Make a toy telephone with items around your house
    • Talk into the phone with your child and allow your child to play with the phone himself
    • Playing peek-a-boo is another way to introduce back and forth communication; a fun way to develop a new skill!
    • All Gone: "All Gone" can be used all throughout a child's day. During feeding times, when your child is finished with his meal, say, "All Gone" to signal that meal time is over. While playing on the floor with your child, hide a toy under your hand saying, "All Gone" which will entice your child to interact with you by moving your hand and looking for the toy.
    • More: "More" is a word that can be used during several activities during your child's day. At snack time, only give a little at a time prompting your child to ask for more. To encourage vocalization while reading a book with your child, pause at the end of the page and prompt your child to ask for "more".
    • Up: Throughout the day, you are constantly picking up your child out of car seats, high chairs, cribs, and even off the floor. When picking your child up, encourage vocalization by saying, "Up".

Positive Parenting and Optimal Child Development

A child's early years of life are vital for cognitive, communicative, and social/emotional development. It is necessary that we strive to ensure children are able to grow up in a community where their social, emotional and educational needs are nurtured.

Parents play the most important role in their child's development. However, we recognize the vital importance of quality trained childcare staff as well. Overall, it is a goal of Project SEED to promote positive parenting styles and optimal child development through numerous community based early learning programs, support groups, parent/child play groups, individual family support, training and technical assistance for childcare providers, and community based networking.

We support that early childhood literacy is more than reading and writing, It starts from birth and involves play and interactions within a child's natural environments.

Community / Parent Partnerships

The S.E.E.D. project has partnered with our community (The City of Hattiesburg) in order to empower our parents, to enable parents and children to be "school ready", and encourage early literacy. S.E.E.D. will accomplish this partnership by providing

parenting seminars, support groups, case management, and fun activities to link parents with the community. S.E.E.D. will also connect the community to parents by establishing a resource directory, an up to date resource center, and technical assistance by professionals.

Enhanced Long-Term Academic Achievement

School readiness requires early exposure to healthy settings, many different experiences, secure relationships, and access to community services.


Family Fun with Early Learning

Play Groups

  • ABC's of Play
  • Using stories to support Language Development: Storytelling
  • Rhyme Time
  • A Base for Literacy: Musical Activities
  • Pretend Play: A Foundation for Literacy
  • Literacy and Daily Routines
  • Learning Opportunities are Everywhere
  • Using Creative Activities to enhance literacy
  • Celebrating Literacy Together

Literacy activities between parent and child

Technical Assistance and Training for Hattiesburg Child Care Centers and Preschools

Case Management

Service provided by Mississippi licensed Professional social workers to assist families with family centered planning that will help ultimately provide an atmosphere for early literacy and early learning for their children. An assessment will be conducted in home and the family will device their own individualized plan. The social worker will assist the family by monitoring progress and introducing needed techniques, interventions, and resources.

Family/child assessments

Referral to community resources

Coordinated service plans

Programs for Fathers

Educational Services

The purpose of the Early Childhood Trainer is to assist parents, caregivers, childcare providers and educators in the Pine Belt area in facilitating the development of cognitive skills, language development, social/emotional development, motor skills, and school readiness in at risk children. The Early Childhood Trainer will master these goals by providing technical assistance and training to improve in areas such as:

  1. Classroom management and arrangement
  2. Encourage the use of learning centers as well as adult-child interaction and child-child interaction
  3. Promote literacy through a print rich environment
  4. Acquire learning skills by using the appropriate educational materials and equipment

The trainer will also schedule adjustments for appropriate age level and development of the children, set up staff meetings and pre-service trainings, provide one-on-one technical assistance to individuals and group mentoring. The trainer can also give suggestions and assist in planning at child care centers. The trainer can help assist with materials, provide trainings when needed, help develop a schedule for the center, and supervise any changes that are made.

Parenting Support Groups

Community-Based Resource Center and Lending Library 

Other Early Learning Opportunities


The holiday season is a wonderful time to introduce new experiences to your child. Each experience is a new learning opportunity. Giving your child a wide range of experiences lays a foundation for expanding your child’s vocabulary. The more interactions your child has, the more opportunities your child has to learn. With the sights and sounds of the season, a drive through your neighborhood becomes a learning experience that will last forever. As a child, I always looked forward to Mr. Wilson’s beautiful bright yard with 3 moving reindeer and 10 large shiny silver balls hanging in his tall oak trees. My mom always took time to make an experience of driving through the neighborhood during the holiday season. We would count reindeer, shiny balls, houses with lights and houses without lights. My mom would help me describe what I saw by introducing new vocabulary words. Driving through your own neighborhood can be a new experience for your child also. Other fun experiences you and your child can do to promote learning in your home include…

  • Turning standing in the check-out line a learning experience. For example, count the number of scarves you see or see who can find the color green first.
  • Visit your local library and search for seasonal books
  • Find ways to include your child in even the smallest of task, those are the ones your children will love the most. For example, stirring the cookie dough or placing red candies on the ginger bread men.
  • Use the holiday season to introduce new experiences to your child and help build your child’s vocabulary. 

If you have any questions or want to learn more about early childhood literacy and school readiness, please contact Project S.E.E.D at 601-266-5163. Project SEED is a collaborative initiative between the Hattiesburg Mayor’s Council for Early Learning Opportunities and The University of Southern Mississippi Institute for Disability Studies. Project SEED is funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration on Children and Families (Grant # 90L00134/01). Alicia Westbrook, M.S. Early Intervention and Elizabeth Beavers, M.S. Special Education

Introduction and Language

Learning with your child can be a wonderful experience, especially during the holidays. Take opportunities this season to create experiences with your child to promote literacy in your home. Reading and writing doesn’t begin at the age of 6, but long before when your child is just an infant. Your child’s experiences in his first few years are the foundation for a lifetime of learning. Literacy begins with language development. Talk daily with your child about her interest. Doing so will help develop your child’s vocabulary. The holidays are a wonderful time to introduce new words and concepts. For example, “Look at the big shiny balls on the tall tree”. Encourage your child to use many words to describe what they see, want to do, hear, taste, and need. While talking with your child, ask questions that can’t be answered with a simple yes or no. This will help them to use more language. Try asking your child how and why questions. Asking your child how and why promotes thinking skills. Enhance your holidays by talking and reading with your children. Language skills are the foundation for literacy. If you have any questions or want to learn more about early childhood literacy and school readiness, please contact Project S.E.E.D at 601-266-5163. Project SEED is a collaborative initiative between the Hattiesburg Mayor’s Council for Early Learning Opportunities and The University of Southern Mississippi Institute for Disability Studies. Project SEED is funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration on Children and Families (Grant # 90L00134/01).


Everyday there are sounds of excitement in the air; especially during the holiday season. Music is an engaging and effective way of grasping children’s attention and fostering their learning (Building Literacy with Love, 2005.) Musical experiences have been described as another language through which young children learn about themselves, their world and others (Educating Young Children, High/Scope Research Foundation, 1995.) Maybe it is a choir singing or the ringing sound of the bell outside the store. Maybe it is the fun in singing holiday songs or listening to the roar of shoppers shopping. All of these sounds are natural opportunities for learning. As a parent, you need only to increase your awareness of musical opportunities and understanding of how they benefit your child. Music fosters language and literacy development in many ways. Music can be an engaging way of:

  • teaching recognition of patterns that help in anticipating what is to come
  • encouraging children to follow directions
  • helping children to recognize volume and tone
  • teaching that movements communicate messages
  • allowing children to explore cause and effect
  • building vocabulary through stories and rhymes
  • encouraging children to express themselves
  • building listening skills

From listening to sounds and playing with volume, to feeling vibrations and actively receiving assistance with dancing, manipulating instruments and props, all children can benefit from exposure to music! And most importantly, musical experiences are all around us. Use this holiday season to sing songs throughout your day and provide opportunities for new experiences. There is no right or wrong way to be musical. There are only the opportunities for wonderful engaging learning experiences with your child. Enjoy your daily experiences with your child! If you have any questions or want to learn more about early childhood literacy and school readiness, please contact Project S.E.E.D at 601-266-5163. Project SEED is a collaborative initiative between the Hattiesburg Mayor’s Council for Early Learning Opportunities and The University of Southern Mississippi Institute for Disability Studies. Project SEED is funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration on Children and Families (Grant # 90L00134/01). Elizabeth Beavers, M.S. Special Education and Alicia Westbrook, M.S. Early Intervention


What an exciting time a year it is to promote literacy in your home. Print awareness is an important part of early childhood literacy and young children should associate reading and writing as an important part of daily life. Parents can model the importance of literacy by having newspapers, magazines, and books in the home. Parents can also model the importance of literacy by reading at home. When your child sees you reading a cookbook, reading holiday cards, using the phonebook, or reading the Sunday newspaper, you are being a literacy role model! It is vital that your child makes a connection of the importance of literacy in the home so your child will know the significance of being able to read, write, and communicate. During the holiday season, many families send cards of good cheers to friends and family! Use this time to model literacy in your home by reading holiday cards to your children and letting your children open the cards. Take time to let your children describe what they see on the card. Encourage them to expand their thoughts when describing what they see. While sending out your own cards, ask your child if there is anyone he would like to send a holiday card to. Encourage your child to write their name on the inside of the card. Use these moments to promote the importance of reading and writing. The days have grown shorter now and winter is knocking on our door. It will be too dark and too cold to spend evenings playing outside; use the extra indoor hours reading aloud to your child. Reading a book to your child helps build your child’s vocabulary, promotes print awareness, and promotes reading as an enjoyable activity! Make it fun! While reading, use silly voices, retell a story using puppets, or read in a fun place! Let your child join in the reading. If your child does not read, let him tell you the story by explaining the picture. Remember to pause and ask questions while reading aloud to your child. Also, answer any questions your child may have. Some fun activities you and your child can do to promote literacy in the home include…

  • Reading aloud by the fireplace
  • Creating books from pictures in magazines, cards, or family pictures
  • Writing stories that your child dictates to you or write stories about your child
  • Visit story time at your library or family bookstore
  • End each night with special one on one time reading your favorite seasonal books Encourage literacy in your home by talking and reading with your children. If you have any questions or want to learn more about early childhood literacy and school readiness, please contact Project S.E.E.D at 601-266-5163.

Training Presentations

The ABC's and D of Play Module 1cc (PDF)

Interactive_Reading (PDF)

Literacy (PDF)

Musical Activities (PDF)




Phone: (601) 266-5163
FAX: (601) 266-5114
TTY: 1-888-671-0051


Project SEED is funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration on Children and Families (Grant #90L00134/01). For more information on Project SEED, call (601) 266-5163.