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In Brief — Sept. 15, 2006 {0548}

In Brief — Sept. 15, 2006 {0548}

e-Review Florida United Methodist News Service

In Brief — Sept. 15, 2006

Sept. 15, 2006    News media contact: Tita Parham* 
800-282-8011    Orlando {0548}

An e-Review News Item

Children’s summit focuses on legislative agenda

By Jenna De Marco**

United Methodists will be among attendees at the Florida Children’s Summit Oct. 6 at the Orlando/Orange County Convention Center.

Children sing during a press conference held as part of the 2006 Children's Week in Tallahassee last April. Photo by Tita Parham, Photo #06-434.

The summit was “designed to create a shared vision of the State of Florida’s commitment to its children and families,” according to the Summit Web site. It grew from a brainstorming session at the 2006 Children’s Week last spring in Tallahasee.

Alma Manney, the Florida Conference Peace with Justice coordinator and a member of St. Luke’s United Methodist Church in Orlando, has attended several of the annual Children’s Weeks. Along with several other Children’s Week attendees, Manney helped form the vision for hosting a children’s summit that would bring children’s issues to the legislators’ attention.

“(It’s important) because we’re all affected by the things that happen to our children and we’re all responsible for our children,” Manney said. “I think it’s a really great idea for people with a passion for children to get together with legislators and say, ‘Here’s what we’re trying to accomplish here.’ ”

Among the dozens of sponsors and partners are the conference’s task force on the Council of Bishops’ Initiative on Children and Poverty (BICAP) and St. Luke’s United Methodist Church. The conference’s United Methodist Women will also have members attending the summit. All Florida Conference clergy and laity are invited to attend.

“We are trying to get people there to hear what the issues are,” said Cindy Cosper, president of the United Methodist Women in the North West District.

The format for the summit includes a plenary session about “issues involved in creating a holistic approach to addressing child and family needs and of a seamless system of care,” then a breakout session where participants will discuss the public policy priorities that should be considered in the 2007 legislative session. Twelve commitment issues, such as early childhood education, health care, safe neighborhoods and youth development, will be covered in the breakout sessions.

At a final large-group session, participants will hear the results of the breakout sessions and select the top priorities. The 2006 gubernatorial candidates will be invited to speak to the entire group.

The summit will take place from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and costs $35 per person, which includes a continental breakfast, boxed lunch and afternoon refreshments. Interested individuals may register or find more information on the Summit’s Web site at The next Children’s Week is March 25-31, 2007.


*Parham is managing editor of e-Review Florida United Methodist News Service.
**De Marco is a freelance writer based in Viera, Fla.