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Petal celebrates ‘Early Childhood Community’ recertification

The City of Petal recently received its 5th recertification as an Excel by 5 Early Childhood Community.
Published: Jun. 23, 2022 at 10:29 PM CDT
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PETAL, Miss. (WDAM) - Over in the friendly city, kids were having fun celebrating the city’s latest educational success.

The City of Petal recently received its 5th recertification as an Excel by 5 Early Childhood Community. Petal is the one of the longest lasting Early Childhood Communities in the state, having been the first city in Mississippi to receive the designation in 2006.

Due to the recertification, Petal Excel by 5 held a big celebration for kids five and under at Hinton Park on June 23. The Petal Fire Department added to the festivities with a massive sprinkler and games.

“This is something that has never fell to the wayside,” said Petal Superintendent Matt Dillon. “We continue to make this a top priority in our district. This is some of the greatest form of dropout prevention when you can engage families and engage kids before they ever enter kindergarten and be there to assist families and walk alongside of them.”

Penny Barr, coalition chairman for Excel By 5, also said that Petal’s commitment to early education will continue to benefit the area children for years to come.

“Well, it shows that our community puts his focus on our young community, our young children and it shows the importance of those early years,” said Barr. “That’s the big time for brain development, from zero to three.”

To learn more about Petal Excel By 5, visit their website here.

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