Insuring Mississippi Parents and Children Tomorrows is the main idea behind Project IMPACT, an early intervention project started in the Fall of 1999 with initial funding provided through the Mississippi Department of Health. Project IMPACT has two main areas of service: A team of teachers and therapists that provide services in a preschool center-based program and an assessment team that provides transdisciplinary play-based assessments in the natural environment.
Project IMPACT is committed to providing quality services to meet each student's individual needs. The program is based on a team approach consisting of administrators, speech therapists, occupational therapists, physical therapists, special education teachers, teacher assistants. All employees participate in yearly professional development programs, which contribute to their professional growth and enhance their knowledge of child development, evaluation, and intervention.
Who Are we?
With a reputation of academic and therapeutic excellence, the Project IMPACT Preschool program is a tuition-free, early childhood special education program has made a difference in the lives of hundreds of children with special needs for almost two decades. The newly renovated classrooms of the Project IMPACT Preschool Program are located on the second floor of the TK Martin Center for Technology & Disability on the campus of Mississippi State University at 326 Hardy Road. Project IMPACT Preschool Program is unparalleled in specialized services and accommodations used to meet the needs of young children with special needs. The preschool is a part of MSU’s College of Education and also provides opportunities for university students to experience evidence-based research practices in the fields of early childhood education, early childhood special education, and child development. Project IMPACT Preschool Program serves approximately 40-50 children and their families each year. The preschool staff consists of a team of speech-language pathologists, occupational and physical therapists, special educators, and teacher assistants, all of whom hold a minimum of a bachelor’s degree. Staff do participate in yearly professional development programs, which contribute to their professional growth and enhance their knowledge of child development, evaluation, and intervention.
What Do We Do?
Since the fall of 2000, the Project IMPACT Preschool Program has offered a continuum of early intervention services in order to enrich the lives of young children with various special needs, along with their families. Our family-friendly approach involves parents and caregivers as essential participants in the evaluation and intervention process. With partial funding through teacher units provided by the Mississippi State Department of Education, center-based services are available 2-4 days per week, approximately 2+ hours per day. Those services consist of three to four classrooms led by highly qualified, early childhood special education teachers/therapists that embed each student’s individual educational goals into daily, developmentally appropriate instructional activities. The students are encouraged to progress in 5 areas of development which include cognition, language, motor, adaptive, and social-emotional. In addition to academic instruction, speech, occupational, and physical therapy are also provided to those age 3+ years who are eligible for related services.
How To enroll?
The Project IMPACT Preschool Program serves young children with developmental disabilities from across the state; however, only those that qualify for our services include children ages 1-3 years that have been ruled eligible for services through the MS State Department of Health’s First Steps Early Intervention Program and/or school-age children after age 3 years that have received a MS State Department of Education special education, eligibility ruling through their local school district. Services can be requested for any child who meets the aforementioned qualifications through various referral agencies including pediatric clinics, health departments, parents, local school districts, etc. To refer a child to our program, contact Christan Toney at 325-1028.
Families of children with special needs already incur a multitude of medical expenses, so we are proud to offer a tuition-free, early childhood special education program to our families. However, our program and the services we are able to provide are only partially funded by monies provided through state agencies. This means that the Project IMPACT Preschool Program relies heavily on fundraising and donations. Our main fundraising event, The TK Martin Center FUN RUN, takes place each fall as we celebrate our students and their families with the help of the university and Starkville communities coming together to ensure success of the event. Throughout the school year, we implement other small fundraisers led by our staff, parents, and various MSU student organizations, etc. Donations from individuals, businesses, organizations, etc. of any amount are always welcomed and appreciated.
For more information, please contact Laurie Craig