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Picayune School District assumes ownership of Head Start program

Head Start services in Pearl River County will now be provided by the Picayune School District.
According to a press release from Mississippi Action for Progress, Incorporated, the agency is cutting the number of counties where it will provide services from 33 to 24, with Pearl River County being one of the counties cut. The program provides educational services to children aged 3 to 5.
During Tuesday’s Picayune School District Board of Trustees meeting, Early Head Start Director Dr. Pamela Thomas informed the Board that the Picayune School District will now receive funding to assume ownership of the Head Start program and the two buildings within Pearl River County, one in Picayune and the other in Poplarville.
Thomas said the district will receive $2 million annually for the next five years to provide Head Start services to local families. She said that funding is coming from the Administration on Children, Youth and Families.
Any staff previously working for MAP at the local Head Start facilities will need to reapply for their jobs, Thomas said.
The change will bring an additional 246 children under the care of the Picayune School District.
Thomas said the change means that Picayune School District is the only one in the state to provide services to children from birth to the 12th grade.
Parents who would like to enroll their child in the Head Start program can complete an application at www.psdecp.com.
Thomas said she is excited about the change.
“We know that early childhood education affects childhood development,” Thomas said.
Thomas also oversees the district’s early learning collaborative, which is a preschool program that is not based on a family’s income.
In other business the Board:
— Tabled acceptance of a bid from Four Season’s Produce out of Moss Point to provide various food items to the district until more information about how the bid stacks up to last year’s bid can be provided to the Board.