From Tuesday through Thursday, May 10-12, leaders in the Newark education community will be coming together to focus on the most valuable members of our community: our children and families. Featuring local experts and advocates, who will speak to where we are and where we need to be when it comes to thriving in a healthy, supportive home, school, and community environment.

Importantly, the event’s speakers aren’t “just speakers” – they are diverse leaders who represent different facets of the challenges we face in making safe and supportive learning environments (SSLE) a reality for all kids in Newark. In addition to the panelists’ points of view, facilitators will also share their views on the role of healthy multigenerational family and community relationships in supporting the socio-emotional and academic development of all children. Notable speakers are:

  • Anfal Muhammad-Jenkins and Safir Jenkins of Newark SEPAC (Special Education Parent Advisory Council)
  • DeNiqua Matias, Executive Director for Clinton Hill Community and Early Childhood Center
  • Douglas McNeill Reed, Director of Partnerships for Black Men Heal

Participants will work with leaders to explore Newark Trust for Education’s emerging engagement framework. The proposed strategy highlights 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 routine opportunities for community members — emphasizing the participation of families and caregivers of children ages 0 to 18 — to gather and share information, provide input, and make informed decisions to determine improvement and growth strategies for their communities.

Summit topics include:

  • Centering students and families through schoolwide social and 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

This summit is made possible due to the generosity of Columbia Bank, Victoria Foundation, Prudential Foundation, and Leon and Toby Cooperman Foundation.