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Excel By 5 Hosts Early Care and Education Conference Saturday

girl being read to
The LOU Excel By 5 Coalition will host its first ever Early Care & Education Conference on Saturday from 8 a.m. to 2p.m. at the Fellowship Hall of First Baptist Church at 800 Van Buren Avenue in Oxford. Approximately 100 educators, representing 11 childcare centers and schools, are registered to attend this free event. This conference is funded and supported by United Way of Oxford & Lafayette County, with many other local sponsors – including First Baptist Church – providing generous in-kind donations.
The conference will feature keynote speaker and nationally acclaimed early childhood expert Dr. Lynn Darling of the University of Mississippi, as well as a variety of speakers from the Lafayette County community and the Early Years Network. Many sessions will be offered, including workshops focused on key issues facing early childhood educators, such as classroom management, developing self-control in toddlers, fun techniques to enhance literacy learning, and implementing the Mississippi Early Learning Standards for three- and four-year olds as adopted by the Mississippi Department of Education.
girl and little boyThe mission of the LOU Excel by 5 Coalition is to ensure that all children enter kindergarten prepared to succeed in school and in life. To this end, one of the Coalition’s primary goals is to support early childhood educators in providing positive learning opportunities for all Lafayette County infants, toddlers, and preschoolers. This conference will provide convenient, free, high-quality professional development—as well as a forum for early childhood educators to network and learn from one another.
Linda Glaze, Director of the First Baptist Weekday Education Program and Co-Chair of the LOU Excel by Coalition’s Early Care & Education Focus Group, has spearheaded the design and implementation of the conference.
“There is nothing more important in a child’s life than his or her earliest experiences. Many families depend on out-of-home care and early childhood educators to provide caring, stimulating environments for their children. Our early educators play a critical role in promoting child development, and our goal with this conference is to celebrate and support each other in being the best we can be.”
Early childhood educators who attend this conference will receive invaluable information and five staff development hours as approved and certified by the Mississippi Department of Health.
Boy with puppetsIn addition to United Way of Oxford & Lafayette County, other sponsors include First Baptist Church, the Early Years Network, the Family Resource Center, Baptist Memorial Hospital – North Mississippi, FNB Oxford, Honey Bee Bakery, the Oxford University Club, Panera Bread Company, Panini/Oxford Catering, and Square Books. The LOU Excel by 5 Coalition thanks all sponsors for their generosity and support.
About the LOU Excel By 5 Coalition
The LOU Excel by 5 Coalition is a community coalition working to ensure that all children enter kindergarten prepared to succeed in school and in life. It focuses on supporting parents, educators, and other caregivers in promoting positive early childhood experiences. On April 23, 2013, after two years of hard work, LOU met all of the statewide Excel by 5 requirements and became a certified “child-friendly” community. This certification demonstrates LOU’s commitment to promoting positive early childhood outcomes. Many local organizations and individuals are actively involved in the LOU Excel by 5 Coalition, for which the United Way of Oxford & Lafayette County serves as the lead partner and fiscal agent.
If you would like more information on Excel By 5 or the Early Care & Education Conference, please contact Linda Glaze at (662) 234-3517 or email linda@gotofirst.org.

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