Cool Schools: The Little Light House

Cool Schools

JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – When it comes to early childhood development, children with special needs require a little more help than typical needs children. The Little Light House is a developmental center giving them that extra assistance free of charge.

Since 2006, teachers, speech pathologists and therapists at The Little Light House have been helping children with all types of special needs shine.

“There is very very little early intervention programming for typical children in our state, and there’s hardly any programming for children with any type of special needs,” Executive Director Frances Patterson said.

The Christian-based center serves newborns to 6-year-olds. The children’s disabilities include down syndrome, autism, cerebral palsy, and other disorders.

The amazing part is the parents don’t pay a thing.

“It cost us about $15,000 a year, per child. We bill no insurance. We bill no Medicaid. Because we are a Christian agency, we take no state, federal, or United Way funding,” Patterson said.

The center runs on donations. They’ve served 145 children to date. Right now they have 28 children enrolled, but the waitlist is lengthy.

Patterson said she was saddened when she had to put another child on the list. “The mom became tearful when I told her unless something amazing happens…then potentially it’s 12 to 18 months until we will get to serve her child, who just turned 4.”

The center has room to accept 75 children, but that would mean larger class sizes.

And Patterson says they would need a bigger budget for more teachers.

So for now, they’re doing all they can to help these little ones shine their light.

“The success of the children that are here in the building now…whose parents were told they probably never hold their head up, you should probably go ahead and prepare for their funeral because they probably wont live past their first birthday…who are thriving…it’s only through the grace of God.”

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The Little Light House will host a 5K and Fun Run on Saturday, October 27th.

It will be held at the Madison Healthplex Performance Center.

Registration begins at 7 a.m.

Call 601-956-6131 for more information on how to participate or donate to the school.

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If you know of a school doing something cool, nominate them for our “Cool Schools” segment.

Every Monday, we’ll highlight a local school.

Just send an e-mail to coolschools@wjtv.com with your ideas.

Tell us what’s special about your school for a chance to be featured on the show.

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