Summit Focuses on Benefits of Pre-K, Collaboration Practices

Wednesday, May 02, 2007 | 07:00pm

Nashville, TN – Education leaders, policy makers and the community will meet to examine issues of pre-K education this week. The Tennessee Alliance for Early Education, the Tennessee Department of Education’s Office of Early Learning, the Head Start State Collaboration Office and Pre-K Now will host the second annual TN Early Childhood Summit to address the benefits of pre-K education and collaboration. The summit will be held May 3 and 4 at the Sheraton Music City Hotel in Nashville.

“It is our responsibility to provide children with the fundamental elements they need to succeed,” Governor Phil Bredesen said. “Pre-K education is a powerful tool in preparing Tennessee’s children for primary education.”

The keynote speaker, Dr. Steve Barnett, Director of the National Institute of Early Education Research at Rutgers University, will share his national research supporting pre-K as a positive and sound economic investment. His research in early childhood education has documented the necessity of such investments for a strong community and economy. Dr. Barnett is a professor of education economics at Rutgers University and an author of several publications on pre-K programs and education economics.

“Tennessee has recently been recognized by NIEER as having one of the highest quality pre-K programs in the nation,” Education Commissioner Lana Seivers said. “Efforts such as the Early Childhood Summit illustrate Tennessee’s dedication to maintaining and elevating this status.”

Dr. Carol Johnson, Superintendent of Memphis City Schools, will address the summit’s theme “The Power of Collaboration” with a focus session on collaborating with non-school entities. This focus session will also give superintendents the opportunity to network and discuss pre-K issues.

Educators, parents and guests will also have the opportunity to learn from Dr. Pat Levitt, director of the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center for Research on Human Development. As a featured speaker, Dr. Levitt will be presenting “Building Blocks for Brain Development: A Primer for Professionals and Parents.” This luncheon session will focus on his research related to the various effects that disorders, genetic make-up, and the environment can have on child development and learning ability.

For more information, contact Rachel Woods at (615) 253-1960 or

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