The following is the first in a series of local community highlights from Groundwork Ohio Steering Committee Members that we'll be sharing in the coming months.
Universal PreK is the topic of choice these days for many in Toledo (Lucas County). With a new Mayor, Wade Kapsukiewicz, this topic has quickly risen to the top of the list of things to accomplish. Together with Toledo Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Romules Durant, Mayor Kapsukiewicz has made it clear that it is no longer time to talk about the possibilities, but time to begin planning the possibilities. In early November, Mayor Nan Whaley of Dayton, and Robin Lightcap, Executive Director of Learn to Earn Dayton and Chair of Groundwork Ohio's Executive Committee, visited Toledo to share the work of Dayton in expanding preschool options for children and families. They presented their experiences to a large group of people including elected officials, business professionals, educators, child care providers, and parents. While no solid plans have been put into place at this point, the Mayor has appointed a task force to explore options and present him with a recommendation for moving forward. Other members of this task force include Gretchen Debacker (Mayor's office), Stephanie Cihon (Promedica HealthCare), and Emily Avery (United Way of Greater Toledo), along with myself and other community representatives. It is an exciting time in Toledo. Expanding preschool options for children and families is no longer 'just an idea'. It is on its way to being a reality!
Amy Allen, PhD Transformational Leader of Early Childhood and Special Election, Toledo Public Schools; Steering Committee Member, Groundwork Ohio
Starting this month, Groundwork's monthly Early Childhood Education in the News update will be integrated into our weekly newsletter. At the end of each month, keep an eye out for the graphic above in your Friday e-news to access our monthly collection of news clippings. You will also be able to access the ECE in the News update on our website and via social media on the last day of the month!
On May 8, 2019 early childhood stakeholders from across the state of Ohio will come together in Columbus to bring awareness to the importance of investments in early childhood education and communicate this important information to our legislators. We need your help to make sure the importance of early education issues rings loud and clear!