Moss Point close to reaching Excel by 5 certification

By Meggan Gray – bio | email

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - Excel by 5 is an innovative early childhood community certification process.  It focuses on every aspect of nurturing children from birth to age five, including their education, family, health, and community involvement. Time and time again, studies have proven if children aren't learning during those critical formative years, then they won't be ready for kindergarten and will likely fall behind.

"There is so much that they need to know, and through the efforts that we put forth in Excel By 5, those things can be met. And the children can be happy, healthy and ready to enter Kindergarten," says Patrice McCullum, who's heading up the Excel by 5 movement in Moss Point.

Marsha Barbour was on hand for the annual Excel by 5 summit  in Jackson Wednesday. As it stands, our state budget has already made big cuts in education and currently, Mississippi does not have a state funded pre-K program.

"Hopefully Mississippi will work through some of these fiscal problems and find the monies to help the right organizations that are going to do the best and the most for the kids."

McCullum says she met so many others like her at the summit, who are working in other parts of the state to make our communities more child-friendly.  She's pleased to say Moss Point is nearing the end of its certification process; they hope to have met all their requirements by the end of the month..

Part of those requirements include holding parent education sessions.  There are four scheduled throughout October.

  • October 11th - Child Passenger Safety, 6:00 p.m. at Charlotte Hyatt Elementary School
  • October 18th - Childhood Obesity, 6:00 p.m. at Charlotte Hyatt Elementary School
  • October 21st - Conscious Discipline, 6:00 p.m. at Charlotte Hyatt Elementary School
  • October 25th - Child Abuse, 6:00 p.m. at Charlotte Hyatt Elementary School

Moss Point Excel by 5 is also hosting a free children's health fair in October that will offer free screenings for vision, hearing, nutrition and growth.  They will also be giving away car seats to the first 100 families.  That health fair lasts from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Saturday, October 23rd, at Charlotte Hyatt Elementary School on Welch Street.

For more information on how to get involved in Moss Point's Excel by Five process, you can call Patrice McCullum at (228) 475-7101.

To learn more about Excel by 5, click here.

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