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FMU to host rural education forum

A public education forum, “Ensuring the Success of Young Children in Rural South Carolina” will be hosted by Francis Marion University on Tuesday, Oct. 22, at 10 a.m. in Ervin Dining Hall's Palmetto Room.

Presented by the Institute for Child Success, FMU’s School of Education and the Gail and Terry Richardson Center for the Child, this forum will examine the current societal and communal complexities of education in rural communities. The event is free and open to the public, but registration is highly encouraged and can be accessed at

Speakers will address early childhood education, professional development for teachers and education policy concerns. The forum has been organized into a format with keynote speakers providing an overview, followed by a panel discussion.

Slated to offer greetings from the S.C. General Assembly are Rep. Jay Lucas (R-Darlington), speaker pro tempore, and Rep. Terry Alexander (D-Florence), chairman of the subcommittee on Children’s Affairs Medical, Military, Public and Municipal Affairs Committee. Those who will be framing the day are Joe Waters, vice president of the Institute for Child Success, and Debbie Robertson, director of S.C. First Steps to School Readiness.

Willie Boyd, Sr., assistant superintendent for administration for Darlington County School District, and Jeronell Bradley, librarian at Florence-Darlington Technical College, will moderate discussion between Josh Bell, executive director of Teach for America South Carolina; Ben Goodman, research scientist for Center for Child and Family Policy at Duke University; Jeanine Sato, program director of Durham Connects; Jeanne Gunther, assistant professor of education at FMU; and Judie Jerald, senior early childhood advisor for Save the Children USA.

            For additional information, contact Joe Waters at (864) 350-2894, via email at or Suzan Orrico, FMU coordinator of continuing education and special projects, at (843) 661-1283, via email at




Last Published: October 24, 2013 8:49 AM
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