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Lower Pearl River Valley Foundation Grants Children’s Center $40,000

The Lower Pearl River Valley Foundation (LPRVF) of Picayune, Miss., has bolstered its support of The Children’s Center for Communication and Development at The University of Southern Mississippi (USM) with a $40,000 grant.

In 2019, $30,000 in funding was awarded to the Center by LPRVF to send therapists to Pearl River County to provide in-home therapy for children with disabilities. This funding ensures the 19 children in Pearl River County currently receiving evidence-based therapy at no cost to their families will continue to do so.

The increase in funding for 2020 will allow four new children in the area to be enrolled and help cover the costs of any increases in therapy needs for the children already receiving assistance. The need for these essential early-intervention services in the region is growing, and the therapy these children will receive thanks to LPRVF is of immeasurable value to them and their families.

“While many days are filled with joy at The Children’s Center, as we witness amazing progress for children with complex disabilities, we also walk through struggles, difficulties and tears with the children we serve and their families. One of our biggest heartaches is knowing there are children out there who desperately need our services but will not receive them due to lack of space or funding,” said Sarah Myers, director of The Children’s Center. “That is why we are so grateful for the support of the Lower Pearl River Valley Foundation.”

Added Myers: “We share a mission of supporting families who have the most specialized needs and the smallest amount of resources in this area. This funding will allow our therapists to remain committed to helping our children in the LPRVF service area and south Mississippi. Our staff will work directly with families and teachers to help children reach their developmental goals. This gift will truly be life-changing for the 20-23 families we will now be able to serve.”

Since 1974, The Children’s Center has led Mississippi in early intervention services for infants, toddlers and preschoolers with significant disabilities. Over 130 children are currently receiving services, representing a range of disabilities, such as Down syndrome, hearing impairment, cerebral palsy, Autism Spectrum Disorder, Rett syndrome, traumatic brain injuries, aphasia, apraxia and conditions related to premature birth.

“We are thrilled that through our partnership with The Children’s Center, children in need in Pearl River County will receive services critical to their development,” said Clyde Dease Jr., president and CEO of the Lower Pearl River Valley Foundation. “These children, their families and our community will benefit greatly from the education, training and coping skills they acquire from The Center.”

The Children’s Center customizes comprehensive educational and therapy plans to support each child in achieving his or her maximum potential. Communicative and developmental transdisciplinary services are provided to children while educating, training and supporting their families, university students and professionals.

In addition to The Children’s Center, the Lower Pearl River Valley Foundation has also supported the DuBard School for Language Disorders and the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Southern Miss over the years. Through multiple contributions to the University, LPRVF has demonstrated an impressive commitment to helping residents of Pearl River County thrive.


To learn more about The Children’s Center for Communication and Development, call 601.266.5222 or visit:


Written by University of Southern Mississippi

The University of Southern Mississippi (USM) is a comprehensive public research institution delivering transformative programs on campuses in Hattiesburg and Long Beach, at teaching and research sites in central and southern Mississippi, as well as online. Founded in 1910, USM is one of only 130 universities in the nation to earn the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education’s "R1: Doctoral Universities – Very high research activity” designation, and its robust research enterprise includes experts in ocean science and engineering, polymer science and engineering, and sport venue safety and security, among others. USM is also one of only 40 institutions in the nation accredited in theatre, art and design, dance and music. As an economic driver, USM generates an annual economic impact of more than $600 million across the state. USM welcomes a diverse student body of approximately 15,000, representing 71 countries, all 50 states, and every county in Mississippi. USM students have collected four Truman Scholarships and 36 National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowships, while also leading Mississippi with 24 Goldwater Scholarships, an honor that recognizes the next generation of great research scientists. Home to the Golden Eagles, USM competes in 17 Division I sports sponsored by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA). For more information, visit


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