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Kids Month celebrated in August

7/24/2014 - South 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.”

All 31 communities in Summit County have joined in the effort by proclaiming August is Summit Kids Month, too, according to Pry’s office.

The public awareness campaign was put together by First Things First, an early childhood initiative composed 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.summitcountyfirstt hingsfirst.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, titled “Cradle to Career,” will take place from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Akron-Summit County Main Library, 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, and Matthew Deever, senior research associate, of 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 and parking. For more information or to register, call 330-643-8626, email tmerlitti@summitoh.net or visit www.summitforkids.net. Registration is requested by today, July 25.

√ Also Aug. 1, the annual Summit for Kids Awards luncheon will take place from noon to 1:30 p.m. at the John S. Knight Center, 77 E. Mill St., in the Goodyear Rooms.
Recipients of the awards will speak briefly at the luncheon. Award winners include organizations, businesses, individual youths and events that have participated in a collaborative project, event or activity that helped improve the lives of children and families in Summit County, according to organizers. The luncheon will be hosted by Pry, Summit County Children Services Director Julie Barnes and Summit County Juvenile Court Judge Linda Tucci Teodosio. The luncheon cost for those not attending the symposium is $25, and registration is due by today, 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. This free event aims to connect 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 will 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.

√ Also Aug. 2, from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m., Hower House, located at 60 Fir Hill, will host a Children’s Story Hour for children ages 3 and older and their families, with story time and a house walk-through for $1 per person. To register, call 330-972-6909 or email howerhouse@uakron.edu.

√ Kindergarten readiness fairs will take place Aug. 5 at the Lake Anna YMCA, 500 W. Hopocan Ave. in Barberton, and Aug. 7 at the Akron-Summit County Main Library from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Both free events are designed for children up to age 5 and will feature children’s activity booths, a preschool story time, visits from Akron mascots and pizza, according to 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 at the Summit for Kids booth for the Aug. 10 home game vs. the New Hampshire Fisher Cats at 2:05 p.m., according to county officials. The day also is Family Funday at the park, with opportunities to play catch on the field before the game, get player autographs and run the bases after the game.

√ 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 speak 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 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, 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. To register, go to www.eventbrite.com and search “Breastfeeding Baby Shower 2014.”

√ On Aug. 16, Hower House will hold another Children’s Story Hour from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. To register, call 330-972-6909 or email howerhouse@uakron.edu.

  • Week Three: Family Week

√ On Aug. 19, the Akron RubberDucks will again offer discounted tickets at the Summit for Kids booth. Also, “Cover Your Bases,” a short video on vaccinations, will be shown during the game, according to county officials. The home team will take on the Altoona Curve at 7:05 p.m.

√ On Aug. 21, the Akron Art Museum will offer a free Storytime in the Galleries for all ages at 11:15 a.m., where adults and children can hear books read aloud, sing songs and play games among the artwork.

  • 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.

For more details, check the website, www.summitcountyfirstthingsfirst.com.

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