Thursday, August 22, 2013

Smart Beginnings Leader Institute

A group of 25 community leaders from around the state gathered at J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College in Richmond to discuss issues related to school readiness and early childhood initiatives during the Smart Beginnings Leader Institute on Tuesday, August 20.   This was the second of five sessions of the seven-month Leader Institute, which launched on July 30 in Charlottesville.

Reynolds President Dr. Gary Rhodes, who also serves as Chair of the Leadership Council for Smart Beginnings of Greater Richmond, welcomed the group to Richmond and stressed the importance of a good foundation in early childhood education.
Today’s session focused on building dynamic partnerships to support early childhood systems and featured speakers from South Carolina’s statewide early childhood initiative, First Steps, with presentations on “Building and Sustaining Effective Boards” and “Building and Sustaining Effective Community Partnerships.”
In addition to learning from the featured presentation, participants had the opportunity to network with their counterparts from Smart Beginnings initiatives across the state, sharing best practices in school readiness and services.
The Virginia Early Childhood Foundation (VECF) created the Smart Beginnings Leader Institute to engage, educate, and enrich the capacity of leaders across the state to advance school readiness for Virginia’s children.
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.
For more information on the Smart Beginnings Leader Institute, contact the Virginia Early Childhood Foundation at (804) 358-8323.
 Reynolds President Dr. Gary Rhodes who also serves as chair of the Leadership Council of Smart Beginnings Greater Richmond, Jacqueline Hale, Director of Childhood Initiatives and Smart Beginnings Greater Richmond, and Steve Clementi, Leadership Council Member, Great Beginnings Greater Richmond