Abbeville to host Fall Excel by 5 play date

Published 10:41 am Wednesday, October 12, 2016


LOU Excel by 5 is going on the road with its quarterly play dates; however, they aren’t going very far.

On Saturday, the fall Excel by 5 play date will be held at the Gordon Community and Cultural Center in Abbeville.

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Since the play dates started two years ago, they’ve been held at the Jackson Avenue Center, next to Malco Theater.

“We moved to Abbeville this time because we want to provide support for all areas of Lafayette County,” said Edy Dingus, AmeriCorps VISTA volunteer with the United Way of Oxford & Lafayette County that partners with LOU Excel by 5. “Our next play date should be back at the JAC, but this time we’re showing Abbeville families some Excel by 5 love.”

Excel By 5 is a Mississippi organization that provides communities with guidelines to follow to support children from birth to age 5. Candidate communities that meet the guidelines are officially recognized as early-childhood certified communities. Oxford received its certification in 2013.

Excel by 5 works to improve early childhood education for children birth to 5 years old, a time when a child’s brain is most capable of absorbing information.

“Our play dates,” said Judith Thompson, Chair of Excel by 5’s Family and Parent Support Group, “are a way to bring the community together in our effort for early childhood enrichment.”

The event is a free and family-friendly event that offers recreation to both young children and their families.

The Gordon Center will be stocked with developmentally valuable toys, books, and activities from Oxford’s Family Resource Center. The Coalition will also offer free car seat checks during the event, and there will be a drawing for one car seat giveaway. There will be experienced volunteers on hand to read, inspire imagination, and offer tips on parent-child play techniques.

The event will be held from 10 a.m. to noon at the cultural center, located at 35 County Road 115 off Highway 7 North in Abbeville.

Foster parents will receive two credit hours for attending the event. All families of children aged 0-5 are encouraged to attend.

For more information, call 662-236-4265.