BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - More games and resources are now available to help parents prepare their babies for school. On Wednesday, Biloxi's Excel By 5 celebrated the expansion of its Family Resource Center.
With their tiny tots in tow, parents joined educators and community leaders in celebrating the growth of the Family Resource Center. Then, they took a grand tour. There were so many places for the little ones to play, interact, and explore.
"Oh, my goodness. It's really amazing! I mean, the stuff they have to offer for him as he gets older," said Lucy Daly of Gulfport.
Daly has been bringing her 17-month-old son Jackson to the center since he started crawling. It was no surprise that Jackson couldn't stay still for long.
"He just wants to go play. Let's go play," Daly said as Jackson cried.
Biloxi Excel By 5 opened the resource center in 2009 with five rooms in the south wing of Lopez School. Now, the north wing is open, with six additional rooms, each filled with age-appropriate toys and materials for children from birth to age five.
"We're very impressed with it. We like all the different games and the learning activities for all the children," said Daniel Kimenski of Gulfport.
The head of Excel By 5 in Mississippi called the facility a 'model for other communities'.
"I'm extremely impressed. As I was driving down from Jackson, I was thinking in my head what it's going to look like and it exceeded my expectations," said Dr. Eileen Beazley, Mississippi Excel by 5 Executive Director.
The resources are free to parents, so they can help develop curious minds and healthy bodies to get their babies on the road to kindergarten.
"Oh, I'm just overwhelmed, because just what we can do for our children to make a difference in their lives. I get very emotional. It's just a blessing," said Susan Hunt with Biloxi Excel By 5.
The south wing of the center was also reorganized with larger rooms for activities like artistic expression, transportation, animal kingdom and a toy lending library. The additions were funded by grants and donations from the community.