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Hernando Excel By 5

Strong Focus on Early Literacy

Post Date:07/24/2019 12:00 PM


Posted:  / Updated: 

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HERNANDO, Miss. ( – If you live in the Hernando city limits, then you can get free books mailed to your child every month until your child turns 5.  As Local 24 News weeknight anchor Katina Rankin reports, Excel by 5‘s free book giveaway is local good news.  

“It focuses on our youngest citizens in our community,” said City of Hernando Community Development Director Gia Matheny.

If you live in Desoto County, Hernando specifically, and have children 5 and under — listen up. Excel By 5 wants to put free children’s books in your child’s hands.

“We love book giveaways, so we do those at most all our community-wide events,” said Matheny. “The farmer’s market is in season, so the last Saturday of each month is Children’s Day. We have a POP program, which is the power of produce, and with that we also give away books.”

Everyone knows quality, early learning experiences are key for school readiness. In fact, studies show that children entering kindergarten with good cognitive, social, and emotional skills are more likely to graduate high school.

“We started a new prime time reading program, a six-week curricula program that is city-led with our coalition members,” said Matheny. “You need the ability to read, and they look at those 3rd grade reading exams, and so if we can get our children to read the first day they enter the classroom, they are going to succeed in the classroom.  And, that’s our goal.”

It’s local good news.

How do they get the money to give out those free books? A huge 10K run in the city. Plus, they’ve started a new program, “Feeding the Hungry.” Learn more about those two things next week in part two of Excel by 5 next week.

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