Community leaders join forces at Florida Children’s Summit


More than 400 early childhood education professionals and volunteers attended the Florida Children’s Summit held on November 8, 2013 at the Contemporary Resort at Walt Disney World.

More than 400 people representing a cross section of our community gathered for the Florida Children’s Summit 2013 on November 8th.  Heart of Florida United Way, in partnership with the Children’s Cabinet of Orange County, the Children’s Leadership Alliance of Orange County, and presenting sponsors Florida Hospital for Children and Walt Disney World, convened the Summit to build a road map for our community that aligns children’s services with common goals and metrics, also known as Collective Impact.

The Florida Children’s Summit was punctuated by three national keynote speakers:

  • Jeff Edmondson of the Strive Initiative shared the story of communities across the nation who have used the framework of Collective Impact to create population level change for children’s outcomes.
  • Retired Lieutenant General Mark Hertling of Florida Hospital provided his unique perspective from his days with the U.S. Army where he was responsible for the physical health and well-being of the young Army recruits.
  • Deputy Assistant Secretary and Inter-Departmental Liaison for Early Childhood Development Linda Smith, from the Department of Health and Human Services, shared the national perspective on the importance of early childhood and early learning.

Summit participants worked to identify innovations and key action steps for reaching four key community population results:

  • Every child in this community will be successful cradle to career
  • Every child in this community with have the opportunities and access to be more financially secure during their lifetime
  • Every child in this community will live longer than their parents
  • Every child in this community will grow up in a safe and nurturing neighborhood

Check out the Summit’s website in the upcoming weeks to see reports of key innovations and action steps identified at the table conversations during the Summit.

Submitted by Ray Larsen, Assistant Vice President Children’s Services, Heart of Florida United Way


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