Educators, first responders, and community stakeholders from across Berks County and beyond gathered for the Keeping Kids Safe Symposium on Tuesday, October 22. This marked the 10th anniversary for the annual event focused on safety and security issues in our schools.
Michael Scott of Rachel’s Challenge was this year’s keynote speaker. Michael’s sister, Rachel Joy Scott, was the first victim in the Columbine school shooting. Her death led to the creation of Rachel’s Challenge, a message of kindness and hope that has touched more than 28 million people across the world.
The keynote was followed by a panel discussion on students’ mental health and how addressing mental health issues can lead to safer schools. Panelists included Michele Ruano-Weber, Deputy Program Administrator for the Berks County Mental Health / Developmental Disabilities Program; Carissa Noel, Program Administrator for the BCIU’s Office of Professional Development and Curriculum; Sara George, Assistant Director for the BCIU’s Office of Early Childhood and Student Services; and Jaclyn Steed, Prevention Program Manager from the Council on Chemical Abuse.
We thank all of our presenters and attendees for their hard work in ensuring the safety and security of Berks County’s student population.