Lucedale Head Start gets $150,000 holiday donation

It’s a tradition that started in 2019 as a way to give to children from low-income families.
Published: Dec. 14, 2021 at 3:59 PM CST
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LUCEDALE, Miss. (WLOX) - It was a busy Tuesday morning at the Head Start Basin Campus, with preschoolers learning the alphabet, how to spell Mississippi and other typical lessons. The Singing River Educational Association runs the facility, making sure students are taken care of education-wise and health-wise.

It’s thanks, in part, to donations.

“It’s just nice to live in a community and work in a community where all of these businesses, they contribute,” Executive Director Tanya Beech said.

One donor stands out from the rest, especially around this time of year. Century Bank leaders made a visit to the Head Start to present a $150,000 check. It’s a tradition that started in 2019 as a way to give to children from low-income families.

“This is the third year we’ve been able to do it, so it’s been $400,000 over three years,” Century Bank President/CEO Peter vanLingen said. “We love to be able to do it.”

The money will be used to build on what the Head Start has to offer. Officials want to improve some of the curricula, provide more medical and dental care, buy needed supplies and make sure computers and other tech are up to date.

“Education is so important to the community. I just think moving forward in this world, in this country, technology is so important,” vanLingen said.

Officials are also excited about what this means for the George County School District, with so many Head Start students going into public elementary schools. More donations mean more children can be better prepared for kindergarten and beyond.

“The transition piece is very, very important to us. It directly impacts what we do on a daily basis in George County School District,” George County School District Superintendent of Education Wade Whitney said.

Head Start leaders said the donation will go far, as well as the other contributions from businesses and community leaders.

“They really care about our children and the future of our children,” Beech said.

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