President Mark Killingsworth presided over today’s meeting. Lynn Walton provided the opening prayer. Mark Killingsworth led us in the Pledge of Allegiance. The meeting was held at the Holiday Inn North and on Zoom. Joe Bost thanked those who helped with today’s meeting.
Mark then introduced today’s guest speaker, our own Rotarian, Wes Brooks. Wes is the Development Coordinator for the DuBard School. He specializes in Fundraising and Public & Government Relations.
The DuBard School for Language Disorders was established in 1962 and is a clinical division of The University of Southern Mississippi's School of Speech and Hearing Sciences. The school was designed to serve students with severe language-speech disorders, including developmental aphasia and childhood apraxia of speech, deafness, and hearing impairments, as well as those with the written language disorder of dyslexia.
DuBard is one of three clinical programs at the University of Southern Mississippi. There is DuBard, The Children’s Center, and the Speech and Hearing Clinic. The Children’s Center addresses birth to 5 years of age. DuBard teaches children ages 3-13.
DuBard currently has 82 children enrolled, 67 children in Outclient, and 226 children in referral.  The teacher-to-student ratio is no more than 5:1. DuBard teaches through a specific phonetic, multisensory program call the DuBard Association Method. The students at DuBard, on average, have at least 5-6 diagnoses.
They take referrals from teachers, speech pathologists, and even parents. The child is then placed on their waiting list. The child then must have a comprehensive assessment and diagnostic teaching test to establish just what disorders they have and if DuBard can help them. Then they hold a meeting with the child’s school district to establish an educational plan. Once the school district signs off on the plan, the child is then accepted to DuBard. The waiting list is usually 18-24 months long.
The Outclient therapy program is a fee-based therapy for clients and with sessions two to four times a week. Approximately 67 students attend both one-on-one and small group sessions.
After DuBard, the children are then enrolled in either a public or private school. Hattiesburg and Lamar County now have 192 formerly enrolled DuBard students, 34 currently enrolled, and 216 in Outclient.
70% of DuBard funding is from State and Federal resources. 10-12% is private donations. USM matches grants received and the remainder comes from fees DuBard charges. Even though the full-time enrollment program is at no charge to students, the average cost per student is between 22-24 thousand dollars.
They are exploring expansion at USM’s Gulf Park campus to better serve those in the coastal counties.
If you would like more information about The DuBard School, please visit, or you can email Wes directly.
Mark then presented a $1,000 check to Wes for the DuBard School. Wes announced we earned $300 from the T-shirt sales and that money will also be donated to the DuBard School. 
Matt Rump noted that the YMCA is a drop-off point in Hattiesburg for anyone who wishes to donate water for Jackson. There being no further business to come before the club, Mark adjourned the meeting with our motto: “Service Above Self.”