GEORGE COUNTY, Miss. (WKRG) – Head Start students continue to be served in George County, in part thanks to a state tax credit incentive.

The Singing River Education Association, the county’s nonprofit Head Start operator, received a $150,000 donation from Century Bank this month.

It is the fourth year the Lucedale-based bank has contributed to SREA through the Early Learning Collaborative Act.

“The City of Lucedale, George County, and Century Bank have grown together for 119 years now. The success of the bank is directly related to the prosperity of the community, and a quality education for our children is the foundation for our community to continue to thrive,” said CEO Peter vanLingen.

Bank employees also visited both Head Start campuses in George County to read holiday stories to the students. Head Start is a federal program for preschool children from low-income families.

A number of residents rely on the services and partnership of these programs to prepare their children for larger social settings, more complex emotional situations, and continued structured learning, according to a news release.

“They are not just teaching the students, they are forming relationships and ingraining principles their students need for the future to become thriving citizens,” said Stacie Langley, Century Bank Marketing Officer.

The bank’s donation came through a state tax credit that allows individuals and corporations who make contributions to an approved Early Learning Collaborative program to receive a 1:1 state tax credit for the donated amount of up to $1 million.

A list of local contacts of where to donate to receive the tax credit is kept by nonprofit Mississippi First.