Readiness Coalition Ready in Kenmore

Kenmore Cluster Kicks Off Akron Readiness Coalition Meetings
Posted on 03/15/2018
Image of Readiness Coalition in KenmoreIf Akron’s first Readiness Coalition meeting plays any role in predicting the outcomes of future coalition meetings within the district, a bright future lies ahead.

On Tuesday, Feb. 27, nearly 25 individuals from the Kenmore community of Akron gathered for their first Readiness Coalition meeting at the Rialto Theatre. Readiness Coalitions are community conversations on early learning and school readiness. Individuals working with young children in schools, preschools and other settings, along with interested community members, typically gather at quarterly Readiness Coalition meetings in their district or area.

“My reaction to our first coalition meeting is that it was powerful!” says Anna Panning, principal of Sam Salem Community Learning Center (CLC) in Akron. “I think it is encouraging and surprising to see so many willing to have a conversation to benefit kids.”

“I was very pleased to see a resurgence from the daycare and preschool community looking to strengthen the bridge with Akron Public Schools and kindergarten,” adds Becca Cacioppo, principal at Akron’s Rimer CLC.

Meeting attendees introduced themselves and explained how their roles impact kids in the Kenmore Cluster of Akron Public Schools. Then, they split into groups to discuss questions like, “What does our community do well in preparing children for success in school?” and “What does our community need to make a meaningful impact in early learning readiness?”

“I am excited to work with our coalition group,” Panning says. “We have common goals of doing what’s best for kids. What seems obvious – bridging [readiness efforts] from preschool to kindergarten – now has an avenue to make that happen.”

While gathering educators, school leaders, community partners and local residents together helps accelerate the improvement of early childhood education in communities on its own, the meetings’ group discussions spark deep engagement and conversation -- two key ingredients for new ideas that may initiate thoughtful action.

“I am most excited to work with this group because of the energy and hope that we share,” says Gina Llewellyn, principal of Pfeiffer Elementary School in Akron. “Everyone had such great ideas and were willing to try something new.”

Llewellyn hopes the Kenmore Cluster coalition can reach out to more people within the community and provide tools and resources families need to get their children registered for kindergarten early. Akron’s district-wide kindergarten registration date is Thursday, April 26.

“I hope we can help [families] feel better equipped as their child begins their academic career,” she adds.

Panning hopes to nurture the schools’ community relationships and to make progress in two key areas – “getting more of our kindergarten students registered in April and May and working to focus community efforts on the Transition Skills.”

Cacioppo adds, “The early childhood community has been a very strong component in Summit County for many years; Summit Education Initiative’s work is greatly needed to rejuvenate the passion for preschool education.”

Looking Ahead
Readiness Coalitions are part of a Summit County-wide effort to increase kindergarten readiness. Many school districts have established a Readiness Coalition and have set meeting dates and times through the end of the current school year.

Aside from the Kenmore cluster, several other Akron-based Readiness Coalitions are hosting their first meetings this month. The Ellet Cluster coalition met for the first time on Monday, March 5, while the week of March 12 includes several new Readiness Coalition meetings around Akron. These coalitions include the Firestone, Garfield and North Clusters.

For meeting dates and other early childhood-related event information, visit www.seisummit.org/readiness.

Image of Readiness Coalition in Kenmore
Image of Readiness Coalition in Kenmore Image of Readiness Coalition in Kenmore 

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