Release Date: August 28,2017

Second annual School Readiness Summit Registration opens for Oct. 27 event

Registration for the 2017 School Readiness Summit on Oct. 27 is open and organizers are hoping to attract an even bigger crowd of child advocates than last year.

More than 530 caring adults convened at John S. Knight Center last October for the first summit, which featured active discussions on preparing children for success in school and life.

“Our ability to gather hundreds of early childhood professionals and influencers in one place at one time is instrumental to positively impacting school readiness in Summit County,” said Jamie Kutner, public health coordinator at Summit County Public Health who leads the First Things First initiative.

School leaders, educators, preschool and childcare directors, librarians, counselors, social workers, community and business leaders, nurses, home visiting professionals, pediatricians, government officials and anyone working with children are invited to attend the Summit.

“Preparing children to do well in school is crucial. The work we do in early childhood lays the foundation for their success in life and for a healthy and thriving community,” said Kevin Thompson, PNC regional president in Akron. PNC Bank is the premier sponsor of the School Readiness Summit for the second year in a row.

The Summit has expanded to a full day of content, featuring two nationally recognized keynote speakers and nine breakout sessions, of which attendees may choose two. Dr. Dana Suskind, founder and director of the Thirty Million Words® Initiative, will present during the lunch hour on efforts to close the “Thirty Million Words” gap experienced by many at-risk children. Dr. Rosemarie Allen, CEO of the Institute for Racial Inequality and Excellence, will kick-off the Summit with her presentation on implementing culturally responsive practices in early childhood programs. The event will run from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.

“Summit Education Initiative is proud to be part of the growing community momentum to provide more high-quality preschool opportunities for all children in Summit County,” said Derran Wimer, Summit Education Initiative executive director. “The School Readiness Summit celebrates the critically important work of our early childhood educators.”

Individuals interested in attending the School Readiness Summit may complete the registration form – now live at – through Friday, Oct. 6. Registration costs $50 and includes a continental breakfast and a buffet lunch. Ohio-Approved and OhioMHAS CE Credit are pending approval.