GCF Early Learning Advantage Center

Grenada added two more heroes to its list in 2012: Louise Davis and Jill Dent.  Louise, who heads the Mississippi Child Care Resource and Referral Network, part of the MSU Extension Service, came to Grenada to describe what her agency does. We asked if we could have an R&R in Grenada.  On the spot, Louise said “You bet!” and called Jill Dent, head of the Mississippi Department of Human Services Division of Early Childhood Care & Development to confirm funding.  Jill instantly said “Of course! Grenada will help us serve so many counties better!” And so the Grenada Community Foundation Child Care Resource & Referral Center (aka the ” GCF Early Learning Center, aka the Grenada R&R”) was born.

GCF Early Learning Advantage Center


1276 MLK BLVD | Monday,  Wednesday,  Thursday  | 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. | Tuesday 8 a.m. – 7:00 p.m. | Friday 8 a.m. – 3p.m. | Every third Saturday 8 a.m. – Noon | By Appointment

 Wanda Thompson | 662-227-0817 | wthompson@humansci.msstate.edu.


The GCF Early Learning Advantage Center is a one-stop location offering a wide array of resources, training, and technical assistance to anyone working with small children: area early child development providers and educators in public or private centers,  in-home providers, parents, families, and friends. Parents and guardians can receive specific training on topics such as positive parenting skills, effective discipline techniques, and enhancing family communications.


Materials_webResources are available for the general public including a lending library of educational toys, games, puzzles and books. These items can be checked out for up to two weeks to those individuals 18 and older. Families can check out resources for their children to work on at home that correspond with the themes that are being taught at the child’s education center. There are resource books for activity ideas or educational toys that children can play with while learning to sort colors or count or to pretend different scenarios.





In addition, the center offers use of an Ellison die-cut machine with dozens of dies including the alphabet, numbers, shapes, and specific themes. Individuals can bring their color paper, construction paper or thin foam sheets to use the Ellison machine free of charge. A laminating machine is available for a nominal fee of 60 cents a foot.


Whether you are an early care and education director or teacher, a Vacation Bible School volunteer, a parent, grandparent, guardian, or a college student studying early childhood education, the GCF Early Learning Advantage Center, (includes the GCF Resource & Referral Site) has something for everyone!






If you do not know Grenada R&R’s team, let us introduce them!

GCF Early Learning Advantage Center / GCF Resource & Referral Center Team


Robin Griffith is the Field Technical Assistant for the Professional Development classes including  Child Development Associate, Mississippi Director, and National Director Credentials.





Angel Long, Field Technical Assistant, for Project Navigator parenting classes offered in homes or in group sessions. Angel has triplets, the best preparation possible for everything and anything.




Joella  McCafferty  (Lynn)Field Technical AssistantSchool of Human Sciences                      

Lynn McCafferty, Field Technical Assistant, provides trainings for child care teachers and technical assistance within the centers, working with different levels of teachers on learning more about teaching techniques.





Tiffani  Nash  (Tiffani)Resource TechnicianSchool of Human SciencesTiffani Nash, Field Technical Assistant, provides technical assistance within the early childhood centers, working closely day to day with teachers to help them become familiar with new teaching methods, classroom organization, and teacher/child interaction.




anne_marie_rossAnne Marie Ross is the Field Technical Assistant who provides trainings for child care teachers and technical assistance within the centers, working with different levels of teachers on learning more about teaching techniques.




jamila_taylorJamila Taylor, Field Technical Assistant, provides important support to center directors by teaching critical business and financial management techniques.





wanda_thompsonWanda Thompson, Program Assistant is the local Grenada person who knows how to connect the entire R&R team to Grenada, and to connect the early childhood development center directors and teachers to the resources available. Our Wanda is at the R&R site full time and assists the public with checking out materials and choosing and signing up for training that the MSCCR&R Network provides.

MSCCR&R: Growing Mississippi’s Children

The Grenada Community Foundation Early Learning Advantage Center (called the “Grenada R&R” by folks who haven’t got all day) operates under the auspices of the MSCCR&R Network, a program of the Mississippi State University Extension Service. The program is housed in the School of Human Sciences at MSU. The MSCCR&R Network is funded by the Mississippi Department of Human Services Division of Early Childhood Care & Development. Grenada Community Foundation leases the space in which the MSCCR&R team operates the GCF Early Learning Center at 1276 MLK BLVD, its new home as of June 1, 2013.  During 2012 and early 2013, the owners of Village Creek Plaza generously allowed GCF to pay no rent for the space.

For more information: www.childcaremississippi.org