Desoto County News

Hernando “Touch A Truck” for Excel By 5

Photo: Youngsters gathered and were able to get close to a Hernando Fire Department fire truck during Saturday’s Touch A Truck event with the city’s Excel By 5 program. (Bob Bakken/  

Saturday was “Touch A Truck” Day at the National Guard Armory in Hernando. Youngsters were able to come out and sit in and touch, not only a truck but a police car, fire engine, even a tank while enjoying a hot dog provided by the Hernando Police Department. 

The National Guard Armory and the Hernando Excel By 5 hosted the event, which Hernando Community Development Director Gia Matheny was part of the Excel By 5 community outreach.  

“This is another community event we offer for families with young children to get out and just have a great day in Hernando,” Matheny said. 

Excel By 5 is a community resource to provide opportunities for families with young children, Matheny said. 

“We focus on kindergarten readiness, through safety and health, and through early literacy and through community outreach,” Matheny said. “This is one of our community outreach programs. We get a lot of support from the parents and the businesses that promote the program.”

Little kids certainly like big things and they got to get close to an ambulance, a truck from Northcentral Electric Cooperative, and another from Waste Connections. 

Saturday’s event was the third-annual Touch A Truck activity that had an Army tank, bulldozer, fire trucks and even an electric demonstration trailer.

The Excel By 5 program aims to improve the lives of the next generation by supporting parents and children, and helping them access resources and services that can lead to healthy lives. The program also identifies gaps in community resources, and encourages collaboration, volunteerism, and economic development. The goal is that children in Excel By 5 communities will be healthier and better prepared for kindergarten and first grade.