Alexandria/Arlington School Readiness Council Holds Panel Discussion, First Meeting

ALEXANDRIA, VA – On Friday, May 2, 2008 The Alexandria/Arlington School Readiness Council (AASRC) held a panel discussion entitled “School Readiness: The Impact on Our Communities.” The event was held at the Hilton Alexandria Mark Center and was followed by the inaugural meeting of the AASRC. Attended by more than 150 participants, the meeting laid the ground work for the important initiatives the Council will begin taking this year.

Campagna Center President and CEO Karen Hughes moderated the panel. Panelists included Emma Violand-Sanchez, President of the Board of Escuela Bolivia Inc.; Danielle Gonzales, Pre-K Now Deputy State Program Director; and Dr. Jerlean Daniel, NAEYC Deputy Executive Director.

“School readiness describes the capabilities of children, their families, schools, and communities that will best promote student success in kindergarten and beyond,” said Karen Hughes. “To ensure that young children develop well requires a methodically designed, systematic approach that involves both public and private sectors at every level. The AASRC is a public-private partnership that provides leadership to create and sustain a comprehensive early care and education system for northern Virginia.”

Comprised of 46 members from Alexandria and Arlington, the primary purpose of the AASRC is to ensure that all children, pre-natal to eight years, in Alexandria and Arlington, and their families, have access to the resources they need to achieve success in school and in life. The Council will serve as a forum for sharing information and identifying needs within the early care and education communities of both jurisdictions. The Council will also serve as an advocate to build bridges between and among agencies and organizations that impact children pre-natal to eight years, and their families.

Leticia Lacomba and Valerie Cuffee currently serve as Co-Chairs of the committee. Karen  Hughes serves as the Past Co-Chair, and Sean McEnearney serves as Treasurer. The Council Vice-Chairs are Michelle Picard (Quality Improvement), Sherrie Lookner (Community Partnership), and Glenn Hopkins (Family Involvement and Support.)

As the year progresses, AASRC has a range of goals they hope to accomplish. Standing committees will address quality improvement, family support and parent education, and community partnerships.

AASRC’s next meeting will be held on June 12, 2008.


About The Campagna Center

The Campagna Center is proud to be the leading children’s organization in Alexandria, Virginia, caring for more than 1,500 children daily. Since 1945, The Campagna Center has been a beacon of hope and a catalyst for community involvement. Today it operates seven high-quality programs that support children in Alexandria by providing services that allow them to arrive at school ready to learn and ensure they are academically successful at each grade level.  For more information, visit


Note to editors: Karen Hughes and other AASRC members are available for interviews or comments. If you would like to schedule an interview, please contact Bethany Nguyen at (703) 549-0111 or