Sunday, April 2, 2023

L.O.U. Excel By 5 Coalition Hosts Early Care & Education Conference Saturday


The LOU Excel By 5 Coalition will host its second annual Early Care & Education Conference on Saturday, October 31st from 8:00 AM to 2:00 PM at the Fellowship Hall of First Baptist Church (800 Van Buren Avenue) in Oxford.

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. Cathy Grace of the University of Mississippi, as well as a variety of speakers from the university and surrounding Lafayette County communities. Many sessions will be offered, including workshops focused on key issues facing early childhood educators, such as developing positive social behaviors in toddlers, fun techniques to enhance literacy learning, and encouraging healthy eating habits in the childcare and home settings.

The 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.

Last November, the LOU Excel by 5 Coalition hosted the first Early Care & Education Conference with great success. Almost 100 childcare providers and educators from the region attended the event.

Minnie Cooper, Director of Kids College, who attended the conference last year, said, “The sessions were informative and wonderful. You would not want to miss it!”

The co-chairs of the LOU Excel by 5 Coalition’s Early Care & Education Focus Group, Linda Glaze, Director of the First Baptist Weekday Education Program, and Stephanie Miller, Assistant Professor of Psychology at the University of Mississippi, have spearheaded the design and implementation of the conference.

“There is nothing more important in a child’s life than his or her earliest experiences,” said Linda Glaze “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.”