The Early Learning Collaborative Act of 2013 allows for the formation of collaboratives across the state of Mississippi. The Starkville Oktibbeha Early Learning Collaborative (SOELC) was awarded November 2016 and is one of 18 collaboratives across the state funded by the Mississippi Department of Education. The funding provides services for 138 children annually in the local collaborative who are four years-old on or before September 1st.

The Early Learning Collaborative serves children at two sites:

Emerson Preschool
1504 Louisville Street
Starkville, MS  39759
(662) 324-4155

ICS Head Start Oktibbeha County
1617 Louisville Street
Starkville, MS  39759
(662) 324-1508


  • An Instructional Curriculum (Opening the World of Learning) for classrooms to use and supportive materials.
  • Professional Development for teachers serving in Collaborative Classrooms
  • Workshops/trainings for parents to assist their children in vital school readiness skills and classes/services to assist with workplace and job skills
  • Assessments for children to measure their progress throughout the year and at least three parent conferences throughout the year
  • Assessments for classrooms to strengthen instruction and meet the unique needs of the children
  • Health Screenings


Families are to contact the sites for enrollment of children and complete required applications with the school sites. Children must be 4 years old on or before September 1st. 

Voluntary enrollment will remain open until all 138 slots are filled.  After all of the slots are filled a waiting list will be maintained and families will be contacted as slots become available. Classes begin in August.

For more information regarding the Early Learning Collaboratives across the state visit:  https://mdek12.org/EC/Early-Learning-Collaboratives.

For more information about the Starkville Oktibbeha Early Learning Collaborative you can call (662) 615-0033 or email Ellen Goodman, SOELC Program Manager at egoodman@starkvillesd.com.


Individuals or corporations may make a contribution to support the matching fund of an approved early learning collaborative.  They may be eligible to receive a state tax credit for the donated amount up to $1,000,000.00.  

For more information about this tax credit, click here to download brochure about how you can invest in pre-K in the Starkville Oktibbeha School District or visit the Mississippi First website at https://www.mississippifirst.org


Ellen Goodman, Early Learning Collaborative Program Coordinator

For more information about the Discovery Center's Early Learning Collaborative, please contact:

Ellen Goodman
Program Manager