The 2017 Second Annual E-Catch (Early Childhood-Community Action Team for Children) Summit at the Bell-Whitley Community Action Center was a major success. The room was filled with like-minded and passionate people dedicated to the shared cause of enriching the development of young children ready to start school.
Organizations and the public alike attended the summit, ready to spearhead the various initiatives outlined by E-Catch and partnering organizations such as the Elgin Foundation, the Five by Five Initiative and Kentucky’s HANDS (Health Access Nurturing Development Services).
The room was set up with six tables dedicated to a different area of focus to help local children. Community outreach, early childhood literacy, health, quality learning environments, school readiness and mentoring were all discussed with passion and enthusiasm. The participants would visit any designated table they wished to network and get as much information as possible to work towards the common goal of supporting children in early development.
One such project is the Appalachian Mentoring Project, which seeks to place a responsible and caring adult with an under-resourced child to help them grow physically, emotionally and academically.
Ken Merrifield, the director of the Appalachian Mentoring Project said, “I’d like to see every child in Bell that is in need of mentoring to receive a well-prepared mentor to help them succeed.”
During her speech addressing the room, Executive Director of the Children’s Reading Foundation Debbie Knuckles stated that “our real secret to success is our participants” and later said that “the impact of these events are the icing on the cake. It’s a good day to enjoy what we have to celebrate.”
For more information on E-Catch and other initiatives contact Debbie Knuckles at [email protected] or visit the Children’s Reading Foundation of Appalachia Facebook page.
Reach Tyler Eschberger at 606-248-1010, ext. 1126.