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September 17, 2014
Smart Beginnings Danville Pittsylvania will host its 3rd annual Early Learning Symposium on Saturday, September 20, 2014 from 9 am to 2:30 pm at the Institute for Advanced Learning and Research. Record attendance is anticipated, with childcare professionals from private childcare centers, family home providers, the Virginia Preschool Initiative, and both Danville and Pittsylvania County Head Start programs. "The average attendance the last two years was 85. This year, we are expecting 132 preschool teachers," notes Ann Vandervliet Stratton, executive director. "This is a sign of increasing commitment from our local childcare and preschool partners to strengthen their teaching and care skills. We are continuously amazed by their enthusiasm for young children and willingness to learn new strategies," she adds.

The Early Learning Symposium will offer five hours of high quality training for area professionals working with young children. A core strategy of Smart Beginnings is to advance the quality of care provided for children birth to age 5. The Symposium contributes significantly to that goal by making professional development for early care providers locally accessible and affordable.
Kimberly P. Johnson, children's author and storyteller, will provide the opening keynote address, "Charting a Bolder Course." A former Head Start student, Ms. Johnson holds a Bachelor's degree in Communications from UNC, a Master's degree in Youth Development and Leadership from Clemson University, and has authored 16 children's books. Other sessions will include Teaching Children of Poverty, the Best Circle Time Ever, Playing Out: Space for Play, the Fun Fab Five Senses of Language Development and the Infant and Toddler Zone.

Advance registration is required. The cost is $10 per participant. Call 797-8887 for more information.

The mission of Smart Beginnings is to ensure that all children are ready for success in school and in life. Smart Beginnings Danville Pittsylvania is one of twenty-nine school readiness coalitions in Virginia. For more information, call 797-8887 or email

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