It is a deceptively quiet neighborhood where The Little Light House is located, in a few rooms inside Briarwood Presbyterian Church in Jackson -- because inside the place is alive with activity.
The Little Light House serves special needs infants and children from birth to 6 years of age. And although these kids are having fun and interacting with each other, there is a plan to all of this. Carrie Cox is the director of The Little Light House.
"Our five hours are packed full of lots of fun activities and work. And it may not seem like work to a lot of the kids," said Director Carrie Cox. "But from 8:15 till 1:15 they're having therapy with our occupational therapist, our speech therapist and our physical therapist, along with each classroom has their special education teacher and they each have an assistant. So when you have that and you pull in the heart of our ministry, which is the volunteers, the kids are getting one-on-one all throughout the day."
The Little Light House has an end in mind -- not just to occupy the time of these youngsters, but to get them ready to go on from here.
"We want them to be mainstreamed into the public school system. We ask the parents to give us their specific educational goals for each child," Cox said. "So that's our goal. To make the parents feel comfortable so that when they do come to graduation time, the parents feel like they are equipped for their next stepping stone. And we just hope that that is mainstreamed into a school system. And most of the time it is."
Now, if that weren't good enough in itself, all of this is done with no tuition fees to the parents. Special needs children already have to have special care and that puts finances in a strain sometimes.
"That's one reason why we do choose to be tuition free. Because the parents are going through to many burdens as it is. That the least we could do is try to lift a financial burden," Cox said.
Getting our special children off to a special start in life, and taking the expense of doing so on itself, we say thank you to the Little Light House for making a difference.
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