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Education leaders and subject experts will be leading interactive conversations with Summit participants; see which subjects and presenters most appeal to you.


In our country, all children’s educational experiences are not equal. As a child living in poverty, a child of color, a child identifying as LGBTQ, or a child with a disability, we know from overwhelming research that your work is more scrutinized, your intelligence more questioned, your behavior more watched, your needs less worthy, your opinions about yourself less valid, your body less worthy, your future less invested in, and your behavior interpreted as more egregious – and punished accordingly. If we do not know about these injustices, we cannot create policies that protect all youth. We can make policy adjustments in classrooms and schools that promote justice in education for all.


Related Resources:

We Want to Do More than Survive: Abolitionist Teaching and the Pursuit of Educational Freedom, by Bettina Love;

Me and White Supremacy, by Layla Saad

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Led by Dr. Christa Preston Agiro, Professor, Teacher Education; Wright State University. Dr. Agiro has visited or taught in schools in Africa, Asia, Europe, and Central and South America. She works with schools and organizations in her region to address access to opportunity and educational justice. She has facilitated hundreds of sessions locally, nationally, and internationally on developing equity. She lives in Dayton, Ohio with her spouse, where she stays busy with community activism and their growing sons.


The last year of teaching and learning shaped us. Our skills grew in ways we didn’t even know possible. We were stretched to the limits of resilience. In all this, our youngest learners have spent ¼, ⅓, ½, or even all of their life in a pandemic. What did we learn from teaching our children online? How has our lens of equity in education been refined through remote learning? What are the challenges of transitioning back to in-person? What should we take with us from teaching online that can help us move forward?   Join your colleagues for a discussion about what’s next after all the lessons we have learned this year.


Related resources:

The Distance Learning Playbook, Grades K-12: Teaching for Engagement and Impact in Any Setting, by Douglas Fisher, Nancy Frey and John Hattie

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 Led by Amy Anyanwu, Assistant Superintendent, Montgomery County Educational Service Center (MCESC). Amy is a former teacher, principal, curriculum director. She earned her Master’s degree in Educational Leadership from the University of Dayton and Bachelor’s degree from Morehead State University. She is a champion for equity and she is committed to providing all students a competitive advantage for their future. 


Self-care is essential in your role as an instrument of positive change in the lives of children. This conversation is about how to piece together a self-care plan out of the fragments of broken dreams and expectations, and embrace the opportunity to create a mosaic of self-care that celebrates your strengths and inspires hope for the future. 


Related resources:

The Ohio Infant Mental Health Credential,; Center for Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation,; Center of Excellence for Infant & Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation,; The National Child Traumatic Stress Network,; Pause – Reset – Nourish (PRN)* to Promote Wellbeing, 

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Led by Grace Schoessow, MS, OIMHP-III, ECMH-C. She provides programming and support for Infant & Early Childhood Mental Health services in the Miami Valley region through the Greene County Educational Service Center and the Whole Child Matters Initiative. 


We will experience together a reflective circle, a restorative practice that can be used with your students and colleagues in and out of the classroom. This will include reflective writing/journaling as well as sharing and witnessing with one another. 


Related resources:

Hope and Healing in Urban Education: How Urban Activists and Teachers are Reclaiming Matters of the Heart, by Shawn Ginwright; We Want to Do More Than Survive: Abolitionist Teaching and the Pursuit of Educational Freedom, by Bettina Love; The Little Book of Circle Processes : A New/Old Approach to Peacemaking, by Kay Pranis 

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Led by Darsheel Kaur, Cultural Educator, Circle of Root Medicines, the HeArt Dayton: House of Healing Arts. She offers community healing circles, sharing tools and practices to support us in healing ourselves individually and collectively from isolation, toxic stress, cycles of violence, and legacies of trauma. 


Participants will learn how to have organic conversations with children about racial self-identification and how this approach can be promoted using their environment.


Related Resources:

Don't Look Away: Embracing Anti-bias Classrooms, by Iheoma Iruka, Stephanie Curenton and Tonia Durden;

“Talking with Very Young Children about Race,”; “Race and Racial Identity,”

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Led by Latoya Jackson, Education Specialist, Ohio State University-Early Head Start Partnership Program. Ms. Jackson has been in the field of early childhood education for ten years, spending most of her career as a Master Teacher and Age Group Lead at The A. Sophie Rogers School for Early Learning. She has co-presented at the Zero to Three conference on the importance of conversations with infants and toddlers and is currently a part of the Diversity and Inclusion Council at The A. Sophie Rogers School for Early Learning.


This session provides an intergenerational perspective and culturally relevant approaches that create an environment to nurture school and family relationships. By optimizing engagement and communication with Black families and the community, participants will advance social and emotional well-being and academic achievement as they learn to connect and develop trusting relationships with families. 


Related Resources:;; https://; (Mis)Understanding Families: Learning From Real Families in Our Schools, by Monica Miller Marsh and Tammy Turner-Vorbeck 

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Led by Gayle Covington FowlerChief Engagement Officer, Parent, Family, and Couple Education Services (PFACES, LLC), and Anthony J. Covington, Facilitator, PFACES, LLC

Gayle is a dedicated and enthusiastic family practitioner, coach, trainer, and advocate for family, school, and community partnerships. As a national facilitator and consultant for the Nurturing Parenting and Nurturing Fathers Program, she trains community practitioners to become parent educators in their local area.

Anthony is committed to motivating young people, specifically Black boys, to achieve their purpose. He provides informative and culturally relevant sessions for a generational perspective on family, school, and community engagement. Anthony earned his B.S. in Economics from the U.S. Naval Academy and served five years active duty in the U.S. Navy. He is currently a Lieutenant in the Naval Reserves.


People often use the terms diversity, inclusion and equity interchangeably. The role of social justice is just as often overlooked. In fact, all four terms ask different questions of us (Lazarus-Stewart, Inside Higher Ed, 2017). The quality or accuracy of the question in large part determines the range of available solutions. Attendees will begin to sharpen their definitions of what it means to authentically do the work to remake society through an equity and social justice lens by being clear about the language we use.


Related Resources:

“Advancing Equity in Early Childhood Education Position Statement,”

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Led by Dr. Jerlean Daniel, Early Childhood Consultant. Dr. Daniel is a former executive director of the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). She currently serves on the Advisory Council for PNC Bank’s Grow Up Great initiative and the Board of The Fred Rogers Company. She is Co-Chair of the NAEYC Black Caucus. Dr. Daniel was a child care center director for 18 years.


In this conversation we will discuss the intentional act of student/teacher interactions and the importance of relevant follow through with culturally responsive literature, in an effort to create a safe and trusting learning environment where every student feels free to be themselves.


Led by Angela Shelton, Preschool Teacher Leader for Dayton Public Schools and Equity Fellows Coach for Learn to Earn. Angela has 17 years of teaching experience in the area of Early Childhood Education and in 2018 was selected to serve as the Preschool Model Teacher for DPS and a participant in the Aspiring Principals Academy. Angela believes that every child can learn when they are placed in a culturally responsive environment.


In this conversation, we will talk about a new way we can support families, beginning with pregnant women, to get coordinated support and help beyond just one service provider. The Dayton Regional Pathways HUB, is a regional clinical care coordination system that is beginning to address the medical and social determinants of health by helping low-income women have healthy pregnancies and healthy babies. Community health workers work closely with families to connect to social and medical services to remove barriers to health, including providing access to food, housing, transportation, cribs and diapers. 


This model, already thriving in communities across Ohio and the country, seeks not to replicate services already in place, but to better connect partners, link families with needed services and identify gaps in our communities. 


We look forward to an engaging conversation as participants share their ideas on the best ways to connect with families and identify needs our community. 


Related Resources:

Dayton Regional Pathways HUB,; Pathways Certified HUB Institute’s Pathways HUB 101,; YouTube video Southwest Washington ACH Pathways HUB:; Health Policy Institute of Ohio Fact Sheet On Infant Mortality In Ohio,

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Led by Lisa Henderson, MHSA, Vice President, Health Initiatives, Greater Dayton Area Hospital  Association (GDAHA)/Dayton Regional Pathways HUB. Lisa is responsible for the Dayton Regional Pathways HUB and manages the Greater Dayton Advance Care Planning Initiative, “Decide to be Heard.” She leads GDAHA’s role in the regional community health needs assessment and subsequent implementation plan. She has responsibility for grant research, writing, and development in concert with member hospitals, Ascend Innovations, and the community.


The Ohio Department of Education just published a web page,, sharing the Fall 2020 Kindergarten Readiness Assessment (KRA) and Fall 2020 3rd Grad English Language Arts (ELA) data at a district level. Learn what the data show about our kids around the state, and learn what your school district data show so you can plan for ways to support young learners in the months ahead.

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Led by Dr. Wendy Grove, Director of the Office of Early Learning and School Readiness, Ohio Department of Education, where she helps develop and implement policies for preschool special education and early childhood education. She oversees a team who is responsible for licensing Ohio's public preschool programs and other early childhood special education programs.


This conversation is about a big idea to blanket the City of Dayton/Montgomery County with playful prompts and learning experiences ("POP Spots!") in community spaces. This innovative placemaking is intended to bring play and learning opportunities into everyday moments and into the neighborhoods and community spaces where our most underserved families are. We will also share information about a new mini-grant program to help organizations turn community spaces like waiting rooms, sidewalks, bus stops, etc., into interactive "POP Spots!"

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Hope Vuto is the Birth to 5 Program Manager at Learn to Earn Dayton where she leads the Play on Purpose Collaborative and other early childhood efforts in Dayton and Montgomery County.

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Erica N. Bohannon is a mother and works as an Infant-Toddler Specialist at 4C For Children. She obtained her Early Childhood Education Degree from Central State University and has served in a variety of roles, including as a kindergarten teacher, Early Intervention Service Coordinator, and as an Infant/Toddler Lead Teacher for Early Head Start.

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Amy Kronberg is an adjunct faculty member at the University of Dayton and an early learning consultant for Learn to Earn Dayton and Preschool Promise. Her focus is on infant and toddler development, low-cost playful learning experiences, and social-emotional learning for children and adults.


We all have important stories to tell about how we've experienced the past year professionally and personally. Join this session to learn how you can use various tools, like Pinterest, to create meaningful visual stories for yourself and the children and families you serve. You will learn how vision and mood boards can help with creating a visual plan for day-to-day projects and storytelling with others.

Related Resources: The Secret Lives of Color, by Kassia St. Clair

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Led by Shon Curtis, Storyteller/Photographer, The HeArt: The House of Healing Arts, a commercial and portrait photographer, who focuses on storytelling through captivating images and creating digital stylescapes that align life and art.


Systemic racism exists in every corner of our society. To achieve and sustain racial justice, new rules and activities need to be institutionalized. Developing a critical consciousness allows us to use our own inherent privilege to address racism as it appears and be actively anti-racist in the spaces we inhabit, builds practices that interrupt racial injustice, and supports personal and collective equity. In this session, we’ll explore what it means to be an Activator; an Advocate; an Ally, and how to build teams that function accordingly.

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Led by Shannon Isom, President & CEO, YWCA Dayton, an organization dedicated to eliminating racism and empowering women. She holds degrees from Spelman College and Northeastern D'Amore-McKim School of Business and  serves on the boards of YWCA USA, Key Bank National Advisory board, Antioch College, and is president of the Ohio Council of YWCAs.


The Zoom "doors" will open at 8:45 a.m.; join us a few minutes early so you don't miss anything!

9:00-9:15 a.m.


Robyn Lightcap,

Executive Director, Preschool Promise and Learn to Earn Dayton

9:15-9:55 a.m.

Keynote “Solidifying our Villages: Ensuring Racial Equity Through Research-Action.”

Iheoma U. Iruka, Ph. D. 

Race, ethnicity, language, ability, and zip code should not determine a child’s access, experiences, outcomes, and eventual life success. Ensuring equity requires a collective vision, an anti-racism mindset, and intentional focus accompanied by associated policies. A sole focus on disparities without consideration of the root causes will continue to ensure the permanency of inequities and disparities. This keynote will delve into how we can begin incorporating a racial equity and intersectionality lens to dismantle systemic barriers to opportunities, wellbeing, and excellence. 


9:55-10:15 a.m.

Small group conversations 

We’ll move into small groups to talk about Dr. Iruka’s presentation and what it could mean to our children, families schools, and community.

10:15-10:30 a.m.

Creating our Mosaic

10:30-11:10 a.m.

Choose Your Conversation 

You choose the topic, from the options on pages 5-9. Click the small icon on your Zoom control bar (see right), then click the Join button next to the session you want to attend. Confirm by clicking Join again. You can click Leave Room to return to the main room.

11:10-11:15 a.m.

Transition back to the Main Room

11:15-11:50 a.m.

“Delving Deep into Equitable Practice and Policy Solutions.”

Iheoma U. Iruka, Ph. D. 

We will go deeper into how to ensure equitable access, experiences and outcomes in classrooms and communities through practices and policies. The conversation will be undergirded by two recent resources co-authored by Dr. Iruka: Don’t Look Away: Creating Anti-Bias Classrooms and Starting with Equity: 14 Priorities to Dismantle Systemic Racism in Early Care and Education. 


11:50 a.m.-12:00 p.m.


The Readiness Summit is free, and we usually ask you to donate a children’s book. This year, because of the limitations created by COVID-19, we’re asking you to instead make a contribution to the Dolly Parton Imagination Library-Montgomery County at, to provide books for our youngest learners.

Thank you to Dayton Live for sharing segments of the Black Violin Virtual Field Trip during our Summit.

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Friday, March 5, 2021

Learn to Earn • Dayton, OH

9 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Free Virtual Event

We’re finalizing plans for this year's Summit, scheduled for this Friday, via Zoom. If you registered prior to February 22, you should have received a packet in the mail with materials for our virtual gathering. If you registered later, the links above will take you to our handbook, agenda, breakout conversations, booklists and resources.


One piece in the packet is a small tile that we will use during the Summit. It is a piece of the Mosaic of Hope we are creating from the Summit, along with our partners, Omega CDC, Omega Baptist Church, and the Mosaic Institute of Dayton. We will reveal the design at the Summit, which will be installed later this year at the Hope Center for Families, 1800 Harvard Blvd. 


Even if you didn’t receive a tile, you can still participate. Tiles will be available at the Dayton Metro Library - Northwest Branch through March. You can sign one, we’ll collect them, and it will be included in the design. (If you got your packet, but the tile wasn’t in the envelope, shake the box. Some have fallen out of the envelope).


There’s another way you can participate: help us assemble the mosaic. In the next month or so, volunteers will be working on adding the tile pieces we sign during the Summit to the mosaic. If you have a little time, please join us! You can find the proposed work dates here.


We're looking forward to hearing from Dr. Iheoma U. Iruka, Research Professor of Public Policy and Director of the Early Childhood Health and Racial Equity Program at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, our keynote speaker. We have great conversations scheduled with a dozen exceptional thinkers around early childhood, equity, family engagement, education and self-care.


As usual, the Summit is free, but we ask for a book donation. This year, because of the restrictions of the pandemic, we’re asking you to please consider making a contribution to the Dolly Parton Imagination Library - Montgomery County, to get inspiring literature into the hands of our youngest learners.

Note: please make sure you have the most recent updates to Zoom to ensure a great experience at the Summit. Check for updates at If you have questions or need additional help with using Zoom before the Summit, email, or call (937) 746-6333, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Book Lists


For Young Learners

Click here for a printable pdf

Black is a rainbow color

Black Is a Rainbow Color

by Angela Joy

(4-8 years)

child of the universe

Child of the Universe

by Ray Jayawardhana

(3-6 years)



by Pete Oswald

(4-8 years)

hurry up: a book about slowing down

Hurry Up: A Book About Slowing Down

by Kate Dopirak (3-6 years)



by Minh Lê

(4-8 years)

I Am Every Good Thing

I Am Every Good Thing

by Derrick Barnes

(3-7 years)

like the moon loves the sky

Like the Moon Loves the Sky

by Hena Khan

(3-5 years)

i will dance

I Will Dance

by Nancy Bo Flood

(4-8 years)

magnificent homespun brown: a celebration

Magnificent Homespun Brown: A Celebration

by Samara Cole Doyon

(5-8 years)

me & mama

Me & Mama

by Cozbi A. Cabrera

(4-8 years)

we are water protectors

We Are Water Protectors

by Carole Lindstrom

(4-8 years)

taking time

Taking Time

by Jo Loring-Fisher

(4-8 years)

why am i me?

Why Am I Me?

by Paige Britt

(3-7 years)

the camping trip

The Camping Trip

by Jennifer K. Mann

(4-7 years)

you matter

You Matter

by Christian Robinson

(3-8 years)

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Dr. Iruka has recommended a book list created by colleagues:

Racially Affirming Books for Black Children

Sims, J., Curenton, S.M., & Rochester, S.E. (2020 July).

(Age 0-12). Boston: Center on the Ecology of Early Development



From Iheoma U. Iruka, Ph.D.

From Our Conversations

How Can Our Schools Be More Just?

Christa Agiro, Professor, Teacher Education; Wright State University.

How Can We "Recover" From Remote Learning?

Amy Anyanwu, Assistant Superintendent, Montgomery County Educational Service Center (MCESC).

My Mosaic: Piecing Together My Self-Care Plan.

Grace Schoessow, MS, OIMHP-III, ECMH-C.


Reflective Circle Practice.

Darsheel Kaur, Cultural Educator, Circle of Root Medicines, the HeArt Dayton- the House of Healing Arts.

Promoting Racial Self-Identification in The Classroom.

Latoya Jackson, Education Specialist, Ohio State University-Early Head Start Partnership Program.

Strengthening the Village and Embracing Parents' Dreams.

Gayle Covington Fowler, Chief Engagement Officer, Parent, Family, and Couple Education Services (PFACES, LLC), and Anthony J. Covington, Facilitator, PFACES, LLC




Advancing Equity and Social Justice.

Dr. Jerlean Daniel, Early Childhood Consultant.




Dayton Regional Pathways HUB: Community Connections.

Lisa Henderson, MHSA, Vice President, Health Initiatives, Greater Dayton Area Hospital  Association




A Creative Guide to Visual Storytelling.

Shon Curtis, Storyteller/Photographer, The HeArt: The House of Healing Arts

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