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Align 2023

Bright Star TN - Align


Aligning Tennesseans around a shared vision and action agenda for early childhood success is a hallmark of our work at TQEE.
At ALIGN 2023, our first annual Bright Start Tennessee Network summit, we were excited to serve up powerful inspiration, fun networking, valuable information and an opportunity to break bread together.
Big SHOUT OUT and THANK YOU to our presenting sponsor: THE URBAN CHILD INSTITUTE, and our supporting sponsors, the Scarlett Family Foundation and Lakeshore Learning.
Check out below what participants are saying…
  • “It was a beautiful thing to see the breadth of sector leaders from across Tennessee come together to not only celebrate the hard work they’ve put into their local early care and education plans (like, but also specifically put their minds towards solutions for the child care talent pipeline.” – Jennifer Andrews, Director of Early Childhood Strategies at Chattanooga 2.0 
  • “Today was a really great day at the Tennesseans for Quality Early Education (TQEE) inaugural Statewide Summit. …It was so encouraging to be in a room with hundreds of others who have poured blood, sweat, and tears into young children. And it was cathartic to hear their pleas in unison for Tennesse leadership to take action for our kids.  And I am so thankful for all the rural West TN leaders showing up to be a voice for our community! “- Olivia Abernathy, Senior Director of the Office of Childhood Success at United Way of West Tennessee
  • The Upper Cumberland is very excited to be a part of Bright Start TN!  The summit was an amazing experience that will lay the foundation for our work moving forward.  As a region we must provide quality early education for our youngest citizens.” – Mark Farley, Executive Director of the Upper Cumberland Development District & Human Resource Agency
  • The Bright Start Summit was an important culmination of more than two years of statewide collaborative work to strengthen early childhood systems and outcomes. It was wonderful to come together with all Bright Start TN communities and think together about major challenges and needs in early care and education. Kandace Thomas, Executive Director of First 8 Memphis

Keynote Speaker

Tabatha Rosproy

Tabatha Rosproy

Tabatha is the 2020 National Teacher of the Year and the first ever preschool teacher to win the award. She was totally fun, hilarious, heartwarming and inspirational!

Workshop: Building the Early Educator Workforce Pipeline

We spent super productive time digging into challenges, strategies and resources for supporting Tennessee’s early educator workforce.  Here are some of the materials we created to aid our Bright Start teams in creating your local action plans.

Call To Action

We’re kicking off a community of practice on building and strengthening the early educator workforce pipeline.  For those of you that registered for Align your Bright Start TN Fellow will be reaching out with next steps in the coming months.  To ensure that you are connected to the work moving forward, please don’t hesitate to contact your BSTN Fellow for more information on how to be involved.

Commissioners Panel

We wrapped up the day with an outstanding, and first of its kind, panel of commissioners who discussed the resources of their departments that can support the Bright Start TN communities in implementing their early care and education plans.

Commissioner Carter
Commissioner Clarence Carter

Dept. of Human Services

Commissioner Reynolds
Commissioner Lizzette Reynolds

Dept. of Education

Stephen Smith
Stephen Smith

Director of TennCare

Commissioner Deniece Thomas
Commissioner Deniece Thomas

Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development

Brad Turner
Commissioner Brad Turner

Dept. of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities

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