Biloxi High Students Run Campus Child Care

"Help me fix your bow," Brendalyn Russell said to a cute, little girl.

Brendalyn grew up, dreaming of running her own daycare.

"I've always wanted to work with kids," said Brendalyn. "I've always had a knack for being able to work with them and relate to them."

But after taking the Early Childhood Services and Education Program at Biloxi High, Brendalyn quickly changed her mind.

"I'm thinking about maybe doing something else, but also dealing with kids, like nursing or just teaching maybe," said Brendalyn. "Because I see how hard directing a day care can really be."

Biloxi High opened the child care facility on campus this year to give vocational students hands-on experience in working with children, ages two to five. The program first accepted only children of teachers in the district, but it expanded after Hurricane Katrina.

"The community lost so many child care centers that we did open it up," said Program Director Kathy Darby. "Some children that were supposed to go to Head Start, we did get some of those children in. We were glad to be able to help them."

Besides the real-life training, the students can also earn college credit if they decide to pursue a career in child care. This year, the program only accepted 15 children. Next year, it may expand and take as many as 50.  The cost is $90 a week. The fee helps pay the teachers' salaries.