Petal-Mississippi’s First Certified Excel By Five CommunityThe city of Petal became Mississippi's first certified Excel By 5 early childhood community in 2006. Excel By 5 is an innovative early childhood community process focusing on the community's young children. It emphasizes the important role parents and early childhood educators play in the lives of children during their most formative years - birth to age five.This is a standard certification process whereby communities that choose to can be formally recognized as "child friendly". Excel By 5 identifies gaps in community resources, encourages community collaboration and volunteerism, promotes economic development, and addresses children's needs with regard to education, health care, safety and childcare.The goal is for children to be healthier and better prepared for kindergarten. This is done by creating a “child friendly” environment where parents and children are connected to the available resources and services they need to lead healthy, strong lives. We strongly believe that investing in our youngest citizens will lead to a brighter future for our city.To learn more about Excel By 5 Petal and available resources to support your family, stop by to visit the Petal School District's Center for Families and Children located at 201 West Central Avenue or call 601-584-4704.