VA Early Childhood Foundation Launches Leadership Institute

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More than 50 leaders from across the commonwealth met in Charlottesville to kick off a new institute for early childhood education.

The Virginia Early Childhood Foundation launched the Smart Beginnings leader institute with a session at the Lexis Nexis building Tuesday morning. It was the first in a seven-month series of meetings designed to discuss early learning initiatives.

"We know that children that get a good start do better when they enter school and do better through out their school career and so this is an attempt to help people understand the importance, to provide the tools, to provide resources and networking throughout the commonwealth," said Cathy Train, president of United Way -Thomas Jefferson Area.

The next session will be held on August 20 in Richmond.

Smart Beginnings Virginia Early Childhood Foundation
Press Release 

Virginia Early Childhood Foundation Invests in Community Leadership

Organization Launches Smart Beginnings Leader Institute

Richmond, Va. (July 24, 2013) – Beginning in July 2013, the Virginia Early Childhood Foundation (VECF) will kick off a new series of informative sessions to engage, educate, and enrich the capacity of leaders across the state to advance school readiness for Virginia's children.More than 50 community leaders from across the state have been selected as inaugural members of the Smart Beginnings Leader Institute.

Members were selected based on their involvement and commitment to local Smart Beginnings early childhood initiativesand the school readiness of Virginia's children. Over the next seven months, Institute members will convene to learn from and dialogue with nationally-recognized thought leaders on topics related to building systems and support for quality early learning initiatives.

The Leader Institute will address issues such as envisioning a local early childhood system, building dynamic partnerships to support and sustain school readiness initiatives and generating public awareness about the importance of early learning.

The Leader Institute is supported and partially funded by the Tobacco Indemnification and Community Revitalization Commission. Several businesses and educational institutions are hosting the sessions, including LexisNexis in Charlottesville, J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College in Richmond and Cox Communications in Roanoke.

"As community leaders across the state grapple with building their local economies and workforce, they understand the critical importance of ensuring that children start school healthy and ready to learn," said Ben Davenport, Chairman of First Piedmont Corporation and chair of the VECF Board of Directors. "As a public/private partnership, the Foundation is committed to investing in leadership development not only to drive Virginia's school readiness, but to preserve Virginia's economic competitiveness and quality of life."

"The VECF is committed to strengthening the skills of community stakeholders to promote effective policy and fiscal strategies to advance school readiness," said Kathy Glazer, President of the Virginia Early Childhood Foundation. "Through the Leader Institute, we aim to launch a new era of strategic leadership for school readiness in the Commonwealth."

For information on the Smart Beginnings Leader Institute, which begins on July 30 in Charlottesville, contact the Virginia Early Childhood Foundation at (804) 358-8323.

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