First 2000 Days Community Summits Attract New Champions

Whiteville, NC Mayor Terry Mann, Columbus County Sheriff Lewis Hatcher and District Attorney Jon David were among the participants in the recent Columbus County Partnership for Children’s First 2000 Days Community Summit. These public officials and other community leaders came together to hear why early childhood learning is key to later learning, health and life success.

Columbus County Partnership for Children Board members speak to District Attorney Jon David at First 2000 Days Summit
Columbus County Partnership for Children Board members speak to District Attorney Jon David

Selena Rowell, Community Outreach Coordinator for the Columbus County Partnership for Children commented, “To have our mayor, sheriff and district attorney all engaged in the First 2000 Days is a fantastic opportunity to reach a wider audience in our county.”

Summit attendees responded enthusiastically by volunteering to communicate to policy makers their support for public investments in early education, hosting lunch and learns and highlighting the First 2000 Days initiative on their websites.

In Stokes County, NC more than 60 community leaders packed the YMCA in King for a breakfast to hear from First 2000 Days champions such as Police Chief Mike Marshall and business owner Robert Jones of Jones and Jones Jewelers.  The speakers shared their personal and professional viewpoints about why early learning programs are critical to our state’s future.

Stokes County Sheriff Mike Marshall
Stokes County Sheriff Mike Marshall

Cindy Tuttle, Executive Director of the Stokes Partnership for Children said, “Among our guests panelists were a news anchor, a pediatrician, a business owner and our sheriff. It was fascinating to hear their perspectives on the topic, which ranged from ensuring future customers with purchasing power to a desire to reduce crime and the cost of incarceration.”

An engagement tool provided an opportunity for attendees to make commitments before the summit was over.  Attendees signed the “Pledge to Young Children” and most agreed to take additional action steps to show their commitment toward improving the lives of young children.