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Mississippi Children Museum’s exhibit “Rocky House” travels to Delta State April 4-21

CLEVELAND, Miss.—The Mississippi Children’s Museum will host a “Family Night” on April 21 at the Delta State University’s Hamilton-White Child Development Center which will conclude the “Rocky’s House” traveling exhibit visit April 4-21.

The “Rocky’s House” traveling exhibit was created by the Mississippi Children’s Museum in partnership with Barksdale Reading Institute to promote the literacy campaign “Talk from the Start” and its mission to raise awareness that talking with children from birth is essential to learning to read. “Rocky’s House” began its statewide tour this spring at the Mississippi Children’s Museums in Jackson and Meridian, and plans to visit the Gulf Coast after its tenure at Delta State.

The Hamilton White Child Development Center enrolls children six weeks to five years old and is accredited by NAEYC. Their mission is to provide a model early childhood program in response to the needs of the individual children enrolled and the families within their community. The Center also serves as a lab school for Delta State students majoring in Family and Consumer Sciences with a concentration in Child Development.

Kelsey Overstreet

“Our staff is committed to nurturing strong partnerships with children and families, recognizing that the young child’s learning and development is integrally connected to family. Our students are given multiple opportunities to experience optimal learning and development. Having ‘Rocky’s House’ join our campus for a few weeks will provide students with interactive learning experiences that promote and foster their language development,” said Kelsey Overstreet, director of preschool programs at the Hamilton-White Child Development Center.

The exhibit will be on display for The Center’s children, parents and caregivers, along with students and interns at Delta State between April 4-21, 2022. MCM will host a “Family Night” on April 21 at 5 p.m. to provide an educational overview of “Rocky’s House” and “Talk from the Start.” In addition, Delta State’s Speech and Hearing Department will be discussing milestones in development and the relationship to speaking and hearing.

MCM’s Education team will provide hands-on training to The Center’s staff on how to engage with “Rocky’s House.” MCM’s Director Monique Ealey, said she feels the Hamilton White Child Development Center is a perfect fit for “Rocky’s House” to share its message with a statewide audience and to engage the community in talking from the start.

“‘Talk from the Start’ is a statewide initiative to increase awareness of the importance of talking to and with children from birth to five years old to increase language development and literacy,” said Monique Ealey, director of education and programs at MCM.

“Children need to hear over 21,000 words per day, so it’s essential for parents, caregivers, and everyone in the community to play a role in making a conscious effort to talk to young children.”

To learn more about “Talk from the Start,” or request to book a visit with Rocky the Reader or “Rocky’s House,” visit: