It’s no surprise: children cannot learn and thrive on their own. Yet too often, we forget this basic fact and leave them without the support of an active, engaged, culturally relevant, multigenerational family and community network. And nothing is more important: this constellation of caring, informed adults is critical to the socio-emotional and academic development of a child. The good news is that in many cases, those resources are not too far away. With the help of experts to provide insights, educators to give practical instruction, and leaders to allow access to integrated community relationships, they can be activated in most cases. And there’s no question that is the case in Newark.

To make safe and supportive learning environments a reality throughout our city, The Newark Trust for Education is proud to announce the Safe and Supportive Learning Environments Summit 2022: Centering Children and Families. Over three days (Tuesday – Thursday, May 10 – 12), participants will hear keynote remarks from local advocates and experts whose expertise span special education, early childhood development, mental wellness for communities of color, and other aspects of the family and community constellation needed to support children.

Participants and presenters will explore Newark Trust's emerging engagement framework, highlighting the merits of community-driven, culturally responsive models that harmonize local practices with sector-developed standards of excellence. The plan aims to create intentional and regular opportunities for community members, families, and children to gather and share information, provide input, and make informed decisions to determine community improvement and growth strategies. Summit topics include:

  • Centering students and families through schoolwide social-emotional learning (SEL)
  • Sustainable and equitable approaches to creating safe and supportive learning environments
  • The value of high-quality, home-based childcare
  • The Newark CARES Network: centering FCC providers and families
  • Tools for integrating self-care and wellness into daily routines
  • Engaging male caregivers to improve outcomes for children
  • Empowering women in community leadership for healthier families

Speakers include Anfal and Safir Jenkins, Newark SEPAC (Special Education Parent Advisory Council); DeNiqua Matias, Executive Director, Clinton Hill Community, and Early Childhood Center; and Douglas McNeill Reed, Director of Partnerships, Black Men Heal. This summit is made possible due to the generosity of Columbia Bank, Victoria Foundation, Prudential Foundation, and Leon and Toby Cooperman Foundation.

Click here to find the schedule.