By Lena Mitchell/NEMS Daily Journal
CORINTH – A team of Corinth/Alcorn County Excel By 5 leaders made stops around the county this week introducing the community to a new Mobile Resource Unit.
The team visited places where parents with young preschool children can be found, including housing developments and day care centers, to let them know about the free services and facility.
The Mobile Resource Unit is going to neighborhoods with books, games and information that parents can use to help give children a head start on brain development and literacy from their earliest years.
“We’re out beating the bushes and getting the word out,” said Bobby Capps, Excel By 5 Family and Parent Focus Group coordinator. Capps, Excel By 5 Certification Manager Susan O’Connell and volunteers Mona Lisa Grady and Barbara Barrett spent time traveling throughout the county with the unit.
A community forum scheduled for April 11 at Corinth High School will present more in-depth information about the program’s progress in Corinth and Alcorn County, and give everyone a chance to tour the Mobile Resource Unit.
Refreshments will be served beginning at 5 p.m., with the program starting at 6 p.m. Northeast Mississippi Community College President Dr. Johnny Allen and state Board of Education member Dr. Wayne Gann will be presenters.
Excel by 5 is a program to support child development from birth to age 5 developed through a collaboration of the Mississippi State University Early Childhood Institute and Chevron. The Corinth/Alcorn County collaboration is pursuing certification as an Excel by 5 community, a designation that recognizes the community as child-friendly.
The four key things to concentrate on during those early preschool years, based on brain development research, are touch, talk, play and reading.
“We’ve been out meeting some moms and talking with them about the importance of their role in brain development of their child,” Capps said. “We asked them to be advocates for getting their children ready for school. I think we’ve sold them on the vision.”