Kindergarten Readiness Summit at Sinclair
Three hundred Dayton-area teachers, school administrators, and community leaders met at Sinclair Community College last week for the 3rd annual Kindergarten Readiness Summit.
Designed to help ensure that all children are ready for Kindergarten, the ReadySetSoar project began seven years ago when Montgomery County Family and Children First Council started what was then called the Montgomery County Early Care and Education Initiative. It was designed to “inspire, equip, and motiviate leaders and providers as they came together to to further community conversations and efforts around school readiness,” says Ready Set Soar spokesperson Ritika Kurup.
Stephanie Siddens, Director of Early Learning and School Readiness from the Ohio Department of Education, praised Dayton for being on the forefront of community efforts to promote school readiness.
Other presenters at the half-day conference included Senator Peggy Lehner, Chair of the Senate Education Committee; David Melin, PNC Dayton Region President; Learn-to-Earn Dayton Executive Director Dr. Tom Lasley. Senator Bill Beagle, Representative Mike Henne, County Commissioners Dan Foley and Judy Dodge, and City Commissioner Nan Whaley.
Presentations covered issues and challenges in developing partnerships with local businesses, funding opportunities, and new ideas in promoting school readiness. The results of a local research project about school readiness were announced, and a new Kindergarten-readiness awareness campaign, Five to Thrive, was officially launched.
Representatives from all 16 districts in Montgomery County attended the summit, Kurup says. The conference was sponsored by The PNC Foundation, which supports programs geared to promoting early childhood education and community and economic development.
ReadySetSoar is a public/private partnership. Members include public, private, and parochial schools, as well as community and business leaders “committed to improving the quality of early care and education for all children in the Miami Valley.” It is a partner of Learn to Earn Dayton, which promotes post-secondary education in the region.
Photo Courtesy ReadySetSoar.