D’IBERVILLE, Miss. (WLOX) - It may be a little late for the first day of school, but it’s a welcomed process.
The Gilbert Mason Head Start Center in D’Iberville opened Friday about a month later than anticipated because of renovation delays.
It is the last of three Head Start programs in Harrison County operated by Mississippi State University to open.
"I was very worried,” said parent Melinda Wheeler. “Because my other two, they are already at North Bay, and they’ve been in school since August. So, I was like, ‘Oh, no. They’re not gonna open.’ I was so afraid, and I was afraid they weren’t going to take my applications from last year. So, I was really excited to get the phone call.”
All four of Wheeler’s children have been through the Head Start program, and she has two this year.
“It’s been really great because they have some learning issues with their speech,” Wheeler said. “So, the fact that we got to come here and they helped them so much, has been just amazing.”
Tevin White is the Master Education Leader in the school with 10 teachers.
“I’ve learned that when children attend early learning programs, they have a better successful time in kindergarten and other grades," he said.
His motivation is simple.
“Just watching them grow and learning and knowing that I can make a difference in their lives," White said.
Vanessa Tran has a son in the program for the first time, but she believes in Head Start.
“I feel like early learning is very important to a child’s early development,” she said. “So, it’s very important how they’re taught at the beginning of their learning stage.”
She’s also sold on the provider.
“I know that MSU took over and that MSU is actually a very good college,” Tran said. “So, with that being said, I’m very happy that my son is starting at Head Start.”
The school currently has 32 students with a capacity of 185.
It plans to open its state-of-the-art playground made of recycled wood by the beginning of the new year.