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Copiah joins EXCEL by 5 community

EXCEL BY 5 Board of Directors informed local community leaders that Copiah County is the newest county to become apart of the group.
Steve Renfroe, President of the Board of Directors, EXCEL BY 5 informed Jan Coleman of this decision in a letter on March 13.  
Jan Coleman is the director of the Hazlehurst United Methodist Church Daycare Center. Coleman single-handedly rallied the local community to get on board and support this effort; and they did.
Coleman is working to build a coalition that will implement the program in the county.  
Interested persons can contact Coleman at 601-894-8569 or
The first-of-its-kind in the United States, Excel By 5 is a collaborative model designed to optimize existing resources while highlighting the important role communities play in educating their children during their most formative years — birth to five.
Parents, educators, childcare professionals, physicians, churches and social service organizations use the Excel By 5 model to form coalitions to achieve certification as a “child-friendly” community based on specific metrics as identified and available within each community.
Research-based and focusing on children ages 0-5, Excel By 5’s approach is similar to that of “Certified Retirement Communities” – a community and development program well understood and thriving in Mississippi and across the country.
The Excel By 5 pilot was launched in 2004 with the support of former Governor Haley Barbour and First Lady Marsha Barbour, Chevron, Mississippi State Early Childhood Institute and the Phil Hardin Foundation.
Excel By 5 has become a 501c3 non-profit organization and has received additional support from the Walker Foundation, Mississippi Building Blocks, the Gilmore Foundation, State Farm and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation through its support of the Mississippi Center for Education Innovation.
As of October 12, 2011 – 28 Mississippi communities are participating in Excel By 5.  Eight have already achieved certification or recertification.
Certified Communities include:  Biloxi, Cleveland, Mid Jackson, Monroe County, Moss Point, Pascagoula, Petal and West Point.
Candidate Communities include:  Alligator, Belzoni, Beulah, Duncan, Gunnison, Hancock County, Hattiesburg, Hollandale, Isola, Lafayette County, Louise, McComb, New Albany/Union County, North Madison County, Oktibbeha County, Pace, Rosedale, Shelby, Silver City, and Stone County.

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