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Kids Month celebrated in August

7/17/2014 - West Side Leader
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By Ariel Hakim

SUMMIT COUNTY — August 2014 is Kids Month in Summit County, with a variety of events planned throughout the month to spotlight early childhood education and health and wellness.

“Helping create a brighter future for children and families in our community is the goal of Kids Month,” said Summit County Executive Russ Pry. “Organizers have created a series of programs and events that will bring greater awareness to early childhood issues.”

The month-long public awareness campaign was put together by First Things First, an early childhood initiative comprised of more than 47 early childhood organizations, according to Pry’s office. This year’s slate of events will begin Aug. 1, and each week of the month is dedicated to a different theme. Events are still being added, with a complete list available at www.summitcountyfirstthingsfirst.com under “Summit Kids Month.”

The following is a week-by-week rundown of events planned:

  • Week One: Kindergarten Readiness Week

√ On Aug. 1, the fifth annual Summit for Kids Symposium kicks off the month. The symposium, entitled “Cradle to Career,” will take place from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Main Branch of the Akron-Summit County Public Library, located at 60 S. High St. in Downtown Akron. Participants will explore the connection between the development of specific early childhood skills and later career success and develop specific strategies for purposeful and targeted interactions to encourage social and academic success with children and families, according Pry’s office. Speakers will be Derran Wimer, executive director for Summit Education Initiative, and Matthew Deever, senior research associate for Summit Education Initiative.
Accountants, attorneys, counselors, social workers, nurses, teachers and human resource professionals may be able to earn continuing education hours. Registration is $50 and includes the Summit for Kids Awards luncheon. The registration fee also includes parking. For more information or to register, call 330-643-8626, email tmerlitti@summitoh.net or visit www.summitforkids.net. Registration is requested by July 25.

√ Also on Aug. 1, the annual Summit for Kids Awards luncheon will be held from noon to 1:30 p.m. at the John S. Knight Center, located at 77 E. Mill St., in the Goodyear Rooms.
Recipients of the 2014 Summit for Kids Awards will speak briefly during the luncheon. Award winners are an organization, business, individual youth and event who have participated in a collaborative project, event or activity that helped improve the lives of children and families in Summit County, according to Summit for Kids organizers. The luncheon will be hosted by Pry, Children Services Director Julie Barnes and Juvenile Court Judge Linda Tucci Teodosio. The cost for the luncheon for those not attending the symposium is $25, and registration is due by July 25. For more information or to register, contact Julie Tortora at 330-643-2609 or jtortora@summitoh.net.

√ On Aug. 2, the month’s featured event, the fifth annual Summit for Kids, will take place at the John S. Knight Center from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Summit for Kids is a free event for connecting families with businesses, organizations and agencies that focus on children’s programming, health, education, activities and entertainment, according to Pry’s office.
Featured activities and services include immunizations, dental services, back-to-school physicals, back-to-school supplies, crafts and educational sessions for parents.
Children can meet Spiderman and Captain America from Marvel Entertainment and Brobee™ and Foofa™ from Yo Gabba Gabba™.
The Summit for Kids includes free admission, parking, activities and giveaways, according to Pry’s office. For more details on the event, visit www.summitforkids.net or find Summit for Kids on Facebook.

√ Kindergarten readiness fairs will take place Aug. 5 at the Lake Anna YMCA, located at 500 W. Hopocan Ave. in Barberton, and Aug. 7 at the Main Branch of the Akron-Summit Public Library, from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Both free events are designed for children ages 0 to 5 and will feature children’s activity booths, a preschool story time, visits from Akron mascots and pizza, according to event organizers. For more information, call 330-643-2627.

  • Week Two: Child Wellness Week

√ Akron RubberDucks will recognize Kids Month by offering discounted tickets for children 12 and younger for the Aug. 10 home game vs. New Hampshire Fisher Cats at 2:05 p.m., according to county officials. The day is also Family Funday at the park, offering opportunities to play catch on the field before the game, get player autographs and run the bases after the game. For tickets, visit www.akronrubberducks.com or call the RubberDucks Box Office at 330-253-5153.

√ A conference on early childhood mental health is set for Aug. 11, with Dr. Neal Horen, director of the H.O.Y.A. Clinic within the center for Child and Human Development at Georgetown University. Horen will present on “Effective Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation and the New Ohio Model” to treatment and prevention professionals who work with young children from around the region. For more information, call 330-643-2627.

√ On Aug. 11, the Children’s Expressive Art Display at the Main Branch Library will open, running through Aug. 25 during regular library hours. Visitors will be able to view art done by children on panels displayed in the library.

√ On Aug. 15, from noon to 3 p.m., Summit County Public Health will hold its annual WIC (Women, Infants and Children) breastfeeding baby shower for WIC participants at Summit Lake Community Center, located at 380 W. Crosier St., offering free fun, games, snacks and prizes. WIC also will host a stroller walk around the center grounds after the shower, so bringing a stroller is recommended.
For questions, WIC officials recommend calling your WIC clinic. In West Akron, a clinic is located at 66 Merriman Road on the second floor. The phone number is 330-375-2142. To register for the shower, go to www.evenbrite.com and search “Breastfeeding Baby Shower 2014.”

  • Week Three: Family Week

√ Head Start will hold a preschool orientation fair Aug. 18 and 19 at Five Points CDC, located at 670 W. Exchange St. For details, call Head Start at 330-253-6221.

√ On Aug. 19, the Akron RubberDucks will offer another discount day and show “Cover Your Bases,” a short video on vaccinations, according to county officials. The home team takes on Altoona Curve at 7:05 p.m. For tickets, visit www.akronrubberducks.com or call the RubberDucks Box Office at 330-253-5153.

  • Week Four: Child Safety Week

During the fourth week of the month, the county hopes to draw attention to the Safe Routes to School program and share information from Safe Kids Summit County on the proper use of car seats and bike helmets, but events had not been confirmed as of presstime. For more details, check the website, www.summitcountyfirstthingsfirst.com or visit Summit Kids Month on Facebook.

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