First Lady Jane Beshear's Communications Office
Graduate Kentucky agenda offers community approach

Press Release Date:  Friday, September 04, 2009  
Contact Information:  Jay Blanton

Cathy Lindsey

First Lady Jane Beshear’s dropout prevention summit to be held Sept. 11-12

FRANKFORT, Ky. (Sept. 4, 2009) – Kentuckians have the opportunity to lend their voices at the first-ever statewide Graduate Kentucky Summit. The dropout prevention summit, hosted by First Lady Jane Beshear, will be held Sept. 11-12, 2009, in Frankfort.

With more than 30 breakout sessions offered to the public, the event will bring together students, parents, school administrators, child advocates, spiritual leaders, business leaders, policy-makers and elected officials from around the state and nation to discuss the dropout problem in the Commonwealth and explore ways communities can play a role in keeping youth engaged and in school.

“This summit will give people, organizations and groups the chance to network and coordinate their resources and tools in order to create a more efficient solution to the dropout problem in Kentucky,” said Mrs. Beshear.

Marian Wright Edelman, founder and president of The Children’s Defense Fund, will be the featured speaker on the evening of September 11. For more than 40 years, Mrs. Edelman has been a leading voice for children and youth across the nation.

Dr. Terry Holliday will give the keynote address on September 12. The North Carolina educator became Kentucky’s fifth commissioner of education last month.

Participants will also hear remarks from Gov. Steve Beshear, First Lady Jane Beshear, Education and Workforce Development Cabinet Secretary Helen Mountjoy and Richard Wells, from the America’s Promise Alliance in Washington, D.C.

“We must find ways to keep our students on the path to graduation and success in life,” said Secretary Mountjoy. “This summit is where the planning and action begins. It is the kick-off event of a movement that could change the way communities work together to ensure the future successes of Kentucky’s youth.”

In addition, a community panel and a student panel will discuss views of the issues from different perspectives and how they can work together to reduce the dropout rate.

To register or to get more details about the summit and the breakout sessions that will be offered, visit