Profile: Louise Davis
Louise Davis began her career in early childhood education as a teacher in a rural Mississippi classroom. The children have been her heart ever since, but her career has led her out of the classroom to a behind-the-scenes leadership role that touches children throughout the state.
Davis oversees the Mississippi Child Care Resource and Referral Network, which is comprised of five programs to support young children and their caretakers. The network provides resources, training and referral services to help ensure that Mississippi children are being cared for in quality settings by knowledgeable and well-equipped providers.
The programs not only help professional child care providers, but also families and others who are caring for young children. Parents, grandparents, child-care directors and home-based providers can benefit from more than a dozen centers around the state which provide learning materials free of charge.
The invaluable supply of books, toys, games, puzzles and all kinds of other learning resources may be checked out for children to use and then return — a process that mirrors a library check-out system.
The network is funded by the Mississippi Department of Human Services, Division of Early Childhood Care and Development.
Davis, an Extension professor and early childhood specialist, earned her undergraduate degree in education from Mississippi University for Women in 1980 and went on to complete a master's degree in curriculum and instruction and her doctoral degree in early childhood education in 1993. She has taught all ages from kindergarten through college, but she is passionate about investing in those formative early childhood years.
"Early learning helps set a course for a lifetime of success," she said.
After teaching for several years, Davis joined the Mississippi State University Extension Service in 1995 because she believed in the mission of providing research-based educational programming to all 82 counties.
"I knew the people in Extension really cared about people," Davis said.
She said her role has allowed her to have a broad reach and make a positive impact on children across the state.Writer: Allison Matthews | Photo: Megan Bean
Next week … David Hall !