New head start program debuts in D’Iberville

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Families in the D’Iberville area have a new choice when it comes to early childhood education.

D’Iberville kids now have a head start on education. The Mississippi State University Extension Service just opened their head start location at the Dr. Gilbert Mason Center to provide support to preschoolers and their families when it comes to nutrition, education, and more. Assistant Director of Family Service, Health, and Nutrition Angelica Espinal said, “We have foster families. Families that are very high risk that we provide services for. We do parent meetings to teach our parents. We provide a crazy amount of resources to make sure that our families are where they need to be.”

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Thirty-four students ranging in age from three to five attended on the first day of classes and continued growth for the center is on the way.

While only three classrooms were open on the first day of head start, the goal is to have all eight classrooms filled with students by winter break. “We’re going to do more of like a scattered enrollment. So, we’ll have new kids starting next week as well. The following week, of course, is the winter holiday, but we’re going to eventually have 160 children here.”

Teacher Phyllis Drakeford is excited to prepare her students for kindergarten and beyond. “A lot of the things we’re doing in the room right now is movement and learning, just getting along with each other, learning to be friendly, recognizing their names, just preparing them for the real world.”



With those curriculum programs and resources in place for the children, it is a positive time for everyone involved. “We’re just hoping that we can continue to service families, continue to service our community, because, as we know, we’re here to serve them and we know that it’s needed.”

If you live in the D’Iberville area and are interested in applying your child for the head start program, you can stop by their location at 4221 Popp’s Ferry Road.

Items required for application include:

  • birth certificate or hospital record
  • current H121
  • proof of monthly income
  • proof of residency
  • insurance card