The Little Light House in Jackson has been lighting the way and making a difference in the lives of scores of kids with special needs and their families since 2006. It is an offshoot of The Little Light House of Tulsa, OK that was founded over four decades ago. The Central Mississippi school, located at Briarwood Presbyterian Church in Jackson, was the first affiliate of the parent organization.
Steeped in a tradition of academic and therapeutic excellence, The Little Light House (TLLH) is a tuition-free Developmental Center that serves children from birth through six- years-old with a wide range of services. Its students, who come from a variety of religious and ethnic backgrounds, have been diagnosed with developmental delays resulting from physically and mentally challenging conditions: including Cerebral Palsy, Down Syndrome, Spina Bifida, Hydrocephaly, Autism, and a range of other disorders.
The Little Light House offers early intervention consisting of intensive therapeutic care and cognitive remediation. Its year-round program addresses a child’s physical ability, wellness, mind, and community and promotes systematic, long-term, healthy change. A Bible-based curriculum specifically designed for children with special needs is the foundation for the classroom structure. Working alongside parents, staff members develop individual education plans with measurable goals for each child.
When TLLH first opened its doors in Jackson, it had only 6 employees (including 3 contracted therapists), a few volunteers and 6 students. In 2017, the staff has grown to include 15 employees, many dedicated volunteers and 29 beautiful students.
The mission of The Little Light House is to bring glory to God by improving the quality of life for children with special needs, their families, and communities.
The Little Light House serves more than children. Support groups, seminars and practical training sessions are also provided for the families of its students, assisting them with the parenting and remediation of their children. More than an organization, The Little Light House is a ministry.
This ministry has not only expanded the scope and reach of its programs, the work of its teachers and therapists has been truly blessed. Since TLLH opened, 115 students have learned to walk, read, tell their numbers and overcome major barriers to eating. Some have transitioned into preschools for typically developing children, and all have had the opportunity to make new friends. Milestones that may seem like baby steps for a child without such severe developmental challenges are major accomplishments for the children at The Little Light House who work so hard to reach each new goal. The list of their accomplishments grows every day, thanks to the expertise and commitment of the school’s staff and volunteers, and the assistance of parents.
Families of children with special needs already incur mountains of medical debt. That is why The Little Light House is dedicated to being a tuition-free facility. It relies entirely on the contributions of individuals and organizations to fund its programs and services, accepting no state or federal funds, and on the generous time and energy of volunteers to supplement the efforts of its professional staff.
“God has been faithful to provide for us even during difficult times,” notes Frances Rooks Patterson, Executive Director of The Little Light House. “We feel very strongly that TLLH should never take on debt or ever charge our families for these services. We are so very appreciative of every donation, regardless of amount. Each year we have three major fundraising events – Our Garden Party, Tees for Tots Golf Tournament, and Laps for Little Ones 5K. These events help to generate our funding and also ‘shine a light’ on the great work that takes place here.”
“Our guiding scripture comes from Jeremiah 29:11,” adds Ms. Patterson. “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” “God has graced the metro Jackson area with this precious ministry. We are merely the vessel doing his work each day.”
Anyone who would like to be a part of this important ministry, can volunteer, donate, and/or participate in one of The Little Light House annual fundraising events. To learn more visit TLLH fundraising page at www.llhms.org for information about other ways to contribute.
The Little Light House Central Mississippi is a 501 (c) 3 non-profit Christian Developmental Center for children with special needs, age birth through six years of age. The Little Light House Central Mississippi does not discriminate on the basis of religion, race, color, national or ethnic origin, or medical diagnosis (unless it affects the child’s ability to attend on a regular basis) in the administration of its educational policies, and other school administered programs. Some behavioral conditions may be evaluated on an individual basis. The Little Light House Central Mississippi assures that all children’s records will be maintained as confidential. All gifts to The Little Light House Central Mississippi are tax-deductible, less goods and services received.