662-843-3432       MAILING: PO Box 117, Cleveland MS 38732       OFFICE: 125 S. Court St., Cleveland MS 38732

February 22, 2024

DHA Learning Center

Cleveland location opened on March 28

By Andy Collier

The Bolivar Bullet

The Delta Health Alliance officially opened its first resource and referral center on March 28 in Cleveland. 

The resource and referral center is a place for children up to12 years old. It’s a place that helps teachers and child care providers can have access to resources that aid their children.

“We believe that every child deserves the opportunity to thrive and the R& R center will play an essential role in promoting a nurturing and learning environment for all children,” said Vice President of Community Relations Brooks Ann Gaston in a released statement from DHA early in March. “We hope to support parents, children, childcare provides and teachers in their efforts.”

The site in Cleveland is the first of 12 resources and referral centers that the DHA will be opening. DHA has been working with the Department of Human Services for over six months to set up centers. The Department of Human Services is funding the 

“It took a while to get everything set up, and this is the first of 12 sights that we have set up throughout the Delta,” said Chief Executive Officer of Delta Health Alliance Karen Matthews. “This isn’t our biggest site, but this is the first one we’ve been able to open.”

The center has a lending library with a wide range of materials such as early learning activities, science tools, kits, games, books and puppets. The library has materials to help teachers, home schooled families and health care providers conduct lessons for children. The Department of Human Services will provide training to help teach teachers and daycare providers work with children in a positive manner. 

Matthews discussed how crucial it is for a child to steadily develop their learning and social skills. 

“Early learning is so important,” said Matthews. “You learn most everything you know before your three-years-old. Most of the words you know, you know before you are five. It’s important to keep learning things in front of children. Parents can check out some of the things you see here that they may not be able to afford. If you come over here, it’s not just about learning your ABCs. It’s about how to play and do things with others.”

Matthews said the center can help parents if they think they’re child has a learning disability. 

“If a parent thinks their child needs to be accessed for autism or they don’t know what’s wrong, we can assess and refer to some of the physicians around the area,” said Matthews.

The address of the site is located on 821 North Chrisman Suite B. All services are free of charge. The R&R Center is open from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Monday through Friday. it will also be open on the first and third Saturday of each month from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. and on Wednesdays from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m.

Other places that will have a R&R center are Greenwood, Indianola, Leland, Coahoma Commuity College at Friars Point, Senatobia, Batesville, Belzoni, Charleston, Winona, Yazoo City and Southaven.