PETAL, MS (WLOX) - Petal has just renewed its commitment to children. The city was the first in Mississippi to become Excel by 5 certified. What that basically means, is that they were the first to complete a list of requirements to enhance their city's early childhood education potential. That was in 2007. Since then, community leaders have made health, education, community and parental involvement priority when it comes to the lives of children from birth to age five.
Petal just spent the past three years becoming re-certified, and renewing their commitment to that mission. Nadine Coleman works closely with the Excel by 5 initiative in Petal. She says Petal had early childhood education efforts already underway before Excel, but now they are much improved.
"The biggest difference I would say I see as far as the community is concerned, is that it has moved from a school district project at a pretty narrow level to a project that the whole community has embraced," explains Coleman.
" Our city leaders are behind it. Our businesses are behind it and it makes a huge difference just having that kind of support on a community level."
Becoming Excel by 5 certified is generally about a two year process that's very specific to the size of your community. Once certified, communities apply for re-certification every three years.
Businesses or individuals interested in bringing Excel by 5 to their community can click here to learn more.
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