Photo by Shawn Nowlin
Terry Smusz, Executive Director of New River Community Action, asking a question pertaining to family engagement.

What models are currently being followed? Will you consider us for some of your committees and panels? How will family services be impacted for working parents like myself?

Those were just some of the questions asked at the Salem High auditorium on August 15 during a listening session in response to Governor Northam’s recent Executive Directive Four signing, which establishes the Executive Leadership Team on School Readiness

Various administrators (Salem Assistant Superintendent Curtis Hicks, Salem Director of Special Education Randy Jennings, etc.) and heads of agencies (Executive Director of New River Community Action Terry Smusz, Total Action for Progress President Annette Lewis, etc.) were present during the discussion. Representatives from public schools, United Way, local libraries, Social Services, private early childhood care providers and parents also attended the event.

The open forum provided an opportunity for dialogue to commence between Southwest Virginia residents and state representatives who are…

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