How to Join
If your community is interested in seeking Excel By 5 certification, contact the state office at 601-707-7726 to arrange an informational meeting to explain the initiative and its requirements. A representation of the citizens of the community should be present including the local school district, local Head Start centers, medical personnel, childcare providers, parents, elected officials, local media, business and religious leaders.
Excel By 5 staff will explain the initiative and answer questions. This community group will decide if they want to undertake the effort of being recognized as a certified Excel By 5 early childhood community.
A defined process is in place to help achieve Excel By 5 certification based on the size of participating communities. Each community defines its own boundaries and includes towns of various sizes, entire counties and neighborhoods within larger cities. Organizational guides, templates and checklists help with organization and formation of Community Coalitions, and help guiding the process in context with community needs.
Attaining Excel By 5 “Certified Community” status takes time, strong organizational and communication skills. Designed to allow broad participation, the structured process requires detailed information gathering to identify needs and opportunities in four focus areas: Community Involvement, Family & Parent Support, Early Care & Education and Health.
Once certification is achieved, the community coalition’s work is not over as re-certification is required every three years.
Click the link to view the COMMUNITY APPLICATION to become an Excel By 5 Candidate Community.