Preparing Children: Excel By 5 Resource Center celebrates Dr. Seuss

Published 7:00 am Wednesday, March 9, 2016

hands-on: From left, Daphne Stevens explains the game to 3-year-old Eva McCardle.  Photo by Cassandra Favre

hands-on: From left, Daphne Stevens explains the game to 3-year-old Eva McCardle.
Photo by Cassandra Favre

Thursday, more than 40 children attended Dr. Seuss’ birthday celebration held at the Excel By 5 Mississippi Childcare Resource and Referral Center in Poplarville.
Carolyn Tedford, certification manager for the Poplarville team, said they focus on reading and developmental skills, which is one of the reasons they decided to host an open house near Dr. Seuss’ birthday. Also, to participate in Read Across America, Poplarville Excel By 5 partnered with the Poplarville Women’s Club and 17 volunteers from Mississippi Power to read to 853 children in two schools, four daycare centers and the resources center within four days.
According to, Dr. Seuss, born on March 2, was a cartoonist and writer who published more than 60 books, including “The Cat in The Hat,” “Oh, the Places You’ll Go” and “Are You My Mother?”
Excel By 5 is an innovative early childhood certification process that focuses on families with children from birth to age five, Tedford said.
Poplarville became Excel By 5 certified in June 2015, and did so within one year. Normally the process takes two to four years, Tedford said.
Early Years Network program assistant Emily Davis is stationed at the resource center during operating hours and helps parents and teachers choose the proper developmental resource for their children.
“I’m here for anyone who wants to check out resources and fill out registrations for childcare trainings,” she said.
Parents, grandparents and teachers can check a variety of educational tools including books, games and toys. On site, people can make die cuts and utilize the laminating and book binding tools.
Daphne Stevens hosts childcare training classes for infant, toddler and preschool teachers. By doing so, teachers can obtain their continuing education units to meet their licensure requirements. These are some of the classes teachers can register for at the resource center.
Tiffany McCardle brought her 3-year-old daughter Eva to the celebration.
“It’s a really good tool for parents, especially those who are unable to provide the resources at home,” she said. “Last week, I brought Eva in for the first time and didn’t realize how much they have here. There are many things available that a small child needs to develop their fine motor skills. There’s also a lot of stuff to help with the imagination. It’s a great thing and more people should use it.”
The center is located on the PRCC campus at 101 Hwy. 11 N. To get there, take the north football stadium entrance.
The center is open Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday from 8 5 p.m., Tuesday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Friday from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Contact staff at 601-403-1492.

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