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Supporters push for Excel by 5

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Updated: 2/06/2014 7:25 pm
PONTOTOC COUNTY, Miss. (WTVA) - Pre-kindergarten students at South Pontotoc School are learning about letters as their teacher reads them a book.

One group says every child throughout the city and county needs access to this kind of educational information.

That's why an effort is underway to bring an Excel by 5 program to Pontotoc County.

It would offer parents of children from birth to age five not only educational materials but information about health issues and other factors that get children ready to enter school.

Pontotoc County Schools' Assistant Superintendent Lynnice Carter said, "I think the community needs to be aware of what is going on in our public education system so that they can help."

One member of the group is a retired educator and says not every child can attend a pre-K class putting many children behind before they ever get started in school.

Lisa Lucius said, "It was wonderful we had that pre-K class but there were so many children we were not reaching."

Money will be an issue as the group moves forward to provide Excel by 5 services.

They also want to make sure there's plenty of business and community support.

Mississippi Early Childhood Association representative Christi Littlejohn said, "The children who are enrolled in early education centers, Head Start or in the school system are allowed so many opportunities. It's not only to learn academic things but socialization. It's to meet benchmarks to learn and move forward."

Supporters point out this is a project that benefits all children in the city and county.

The next Excel by 5 meeting for Pontotoc County comes up on the 20th of this month at 6:30 p-m at the MSU Extension Service building in Pontotoc.
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