Get Troup Reading Summit returns after COVID hiatus

Published 9:00 am Saturday, October 29, 2022

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After a Covid-19-induced hiatus, the  Get Troup Reading Summit will return for its second year on Nov. 5. 

This year’s summit will be held at the Callaway Conference Center from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The event will provide free training and DECAL-approved training hours tailored to teachers, caregivers and community members to learn about the effects of childhood trauma as it relates to early learning.

Kim Myers, director of Get Troup Reading, said the first summit brought attention to the crisis going on across the nation with children not being able to read on grade level by third grade.

“We brought in speakers from Get Georgia Reading and brought attention to the need of focusing on literacy and making sure our kids have what they need when they enter school to be successful and learn to read,” Myers said.

The first summit included community members, childcare providers, Troup County School System employees and more.

“Fortunately, that event happened the Saturday before everything closed,” Myers said. “It didn’t stop the momentum that our community has in pursuing literacy. But of course, we were not able to have another summit. This will be the second summit since the pandemic and we’re really excited.”

Myers said it’s a couple of years late, but they are excited to gather together at the Callaway Conference Center. She thanked the Department of Early Care and Learning (DECAL), United Way of West Georgia and Troup Strong for helping make the year’s summit possible.

Troup Strong focuses on building resilient families and addressing the effects of trauma and stress on families.

The 2022 summit will include speakers Jill O’Meara with Bright from the Start, Grace Nagel with the Basics Chattahoochee Valley, Dr. Stacey Wallen from Cox Campus, Dr. Douglas Bell from Kennesaw State University, and LaGrange’s Dr. Joy Baker and Troup County School Superintendent Dr. Brian Shumate.

O’Meara will share the history of grants awarded by DECAL and share future opportunities for

communities to address trauma and literacy initiatives. Nagel will showcase the science of “The

Basics” to support social, emotional, and cognitive development in young children. Wallen will share resources available to construct every child’s deep reading brain.

Bell will share the importance of evidence-based practices that focus on language, support book exploration, word and vocabulary support and sound play. Baker will examine the data on the effects of trauma on mothers and babies during pregnancy and the postpartum period.

Shumate will close the summit and report from the school system.

Following the speakers, there will be a celebration of the fifth birthday of the Jungle Bus, Myers said.

“I think the most impactful benefit for participants will be learning about early brain development and how our social and emotional well-being affects children and learning in the first few years of life,” Myers said.

For more information and questions, contact