More than 300 people have pre-registered for Saturday's youth summit, and event organizers said the community's response to the event so far had been tremendous.
"Things are coming together really, really nicely," said Kristen Malloy, executive director of Lawrence-Douglas County Promise, a child advocacy group, and summit co-sponsor.
The summit, Building a Better Youth Community, is set for 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Saturday at Lawrence High School. Sponsored by the Bert Nash Community Mental Health Center and Partnership for Children and Youth, it will explore how different sectors of the community can help connect children to the resources they need to become competent, caring adults.
Gov. Kathleen Sebelius is scheduled to speak about children's issues across the state, Malloy said, and the keynote address will be delivered by Harris Wofford, chairman of America's Promise-The Alliance for Youth, a national nonprofit organization founded in 1997 to challenge Americans to make youth a national priority.
A Bert Nash summit in January 2001 drew more than 3,000 people to the Lied Center. Another summit was staged in 2002, and organizers hope to continue the community dialogue this weekend.
Malloy said the summit's volunteer needs had been met and several volunteers have been turned away.
"We've just encouraged all those volunteers to come and bring five friends with them," she said.
The summit is free to the public. Kansas University students will have an opportunity to meet with Wofford from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. today in the Centennial Room at the Kansas Union.
|9:30 a.m.¢ Opening ceremony¢ New Dawn Native Dancers¢ Introduction¢ Gov. Kathleen Sebelius¢ "Welcome to Challenge"¢ "A Community For Youth," by county's mayors¢ "A Community in Collaboration," local speakers panel discussion¢ "Youth: The 5 Promises"¢ Keynote address by Harris Woffordnoon-1:30 p.m.: lunch1:30 p.m.¢ KU men's basketball representative¢ "Youth in Action"¢ Lawrence-Douglas County Promise Youth¢ Erich DiCenzo, Pennsylvania COP¢ Summit II Youth Subcommittee Presentation¢ Community Wide On-site Volunteer Projects|