Pearl River Valley | Mississippi
(601) 736 - 9564

Why PRVO Head Start?

Pearl River Valley Opportunity, Inc. Head Start/Early Head Start, a community-based resource, is dedicated to providing a comprehensive, culturally sensitive early childhood development program of high quality for low income children and families, including children with significant disabilities. Our mission is to impact communities through partnerships and resources to create more social and economic self-sufficient families and prepare children for the next level of placement.

Pearl River Valley Opportunity Inc. believes in the importance of providing each child with an educational opportunity that addressing their individual learning style. We apply a daily schedule of activities that is child-initiated/teacher- directed in our Head Start classrooms and child-initiated/teacher-supported in Early Head Start. We utilize the Creative Curriculum in our center-based classrooms and our Family Child Care Home This curriculum is based on a firm foundation of research and serves as a guide in defining developmentally appropriate goals, objectives, and experiences for each child.  Our teachers implement a lesson plan that is individualized to address the following areas of development: *Social/Emotional, *Physical, *Cognitive and *Language.

What is Head Start?

Pearl River Valley Opportunity, Inc. Head Start/Early Head Start believe in providing high quality services to meet the needs of children, families, communities and staff.

The Head Start Program is a program of the United States Department of Health and Human Services that provides comprehensive early childhood education, health, nutrition, child safety, family and community services, mental health and disabilities, and parent involvement services to low-income children and their families. Our program provides an enriching environment with a variety of developmentally appropriate activities to enhance and advance the child’s physical, social, emotional, and cognitive abilities. It is designed to foster stable family relationships while enhancing children’s physical and emotional well-being. The transition from preschool to elementary imposes diverse developmental challenges that include requiring the children to engage successfully with their peers outside of the family network, adjust to the space of a classroom, and meet the expectations the school setting provides.


Sherrone McDonald Head Start/Early Head Start Director

Pearl River Valley Inc. Head Start has provided services to children, families and communities since 1965. We are indeed excited to have reached such a milestone and will be celebrating “50 Years of Opportunity” for the agency later this year. We are building on the past and will move ahead with greater expectations for the next 50 years. The best is yet to come!

How To Enroll In PRVO Head Start

Parents/Guardians who will be registering for the first time must bring the following documents:

HS(1) Copy of Child’s Certified Birth Certificate (Long Form Preferred)

(2) Copy Of Income Verification For 2013 (Any of the following will be accepted)

– 2013 W-2 or Income Tax Return
– Signed statement from employer for wages earned for the year 2013
– Signed statement or computer print-out from public agency for public assistance received for the year 2013
  -(TANF, Social Security, Child Support, V.A. Benefits, Etc)

(3) Family’s Insurance Information (If Applicable)

(4) Clear Copy of Child’s Medicaid Card (if applicable)

(5) Clear Copy of Child’s CHIP Card (If applicable)

(6) Social Security numbers for all household members

(7) Proof of Guardianship (If Applicable)

(8) Official School and/or Work Schedule on Company Letter Head  (Early Head Start Only)


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PRVO Head Start History

The Office of Economic Opportunity’s Community Action Program launched Project Head Start as an eight-week summer program in 1965. The program was led by Dr. Robert Cooke, a pediatrician at John Hopkins University, and Dr. Edward Zigler, a professor of psychology and director of the Yale Child Study Center. Together, they created a comprehensive child development program to help communities meet the needs of disadvantaged preschool children. The following year it was authorized by Congress as a year–round program. In 1968, Head Start began funding a television program that would eventually be called Sesame Street, operated by the Carnegie Corporation Preschool Television project.

Head StartIn the summer of 1966, PRVO Head Start began with a staff of eight (8), serving sixty (60) children in one neighborhood center that also doubled as the original Community Action Agency (CAA). In 1970, the neighborhood centers had grown to sixteen (16) sites in a three-county area (Lamar, Marion and Walthall). Our Head Start Centers at this time were chosen according to available physical facilities, transportation and resident interest in each neighborhood. Buildings used for Head Start centers were religious and public community centers, churches and schools renovated by residents.

Today, PRVO Head Start/Early Head Start employs 307staff and serves 1174 preschoolers and 112 infants/toddlers and 20 pregnant mothers.  PRVO has fifteen centers located in five counties (Lamar, Marion, Pike, Stone and Walthall). Each preschool classroom is staffed with one teacher and one teacher assistant with a teacher-child ratio of 1:10. Early Head Start’s teacher-child ratio is 1:4. 
PRVO offers center-based services, home based services and services for pregnant women. The home-based option is available for Head Start/Early Head Start and offers an alternate choice to families needing quality childcare and who prefer not to place their child in a center-based setting. PRVO provides home based services to families who wish to remain at home with their newborn, infant or preschooler. Pregnant women who enroll in the program are provided pre and post natal education and health/dental information during and after their pregnancy through home visits and monthly socializations.
Head StartSeven Head Start Centers are currently accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). The remaining eight centers will be accredited by 2013. NAEYC is a widely recognized sign of high-quality in early childhood education.  To earn NAEYC Accreditation each center went through an extensive self-study process, measuring the program and its services against the ten NAEYC Early Childhood Program Standards and more than 400 related Accreditation Criteria. Each center received NAEYC Accreditation after an on-site visit by a NAEYC Assessor to ensure that the program met each standard. NAEYC accreditation lasts for five years. PRVO’s accredited centers are: Stone County Head Start/Early Head Start, Lexie HeadStart/Early Head Start, Yale Head Start, Lumberton Head Start, Clifton Preston, Sr. Head Start, Kokomo Head Start and St. Paul Head Start.

PRVO’s Head Start Program is presently serving children and families in a five county area of Lamar, Marion, Walthall, Pike, and Stone Counties.