Education summit at Clifton Forge's Masonic Theatre

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Clifton Forge, Va. (WDBJ7) Preschoolers on stage led the pledge, and sang some songs, which only made sense, as the whole meeting was about them.

“We know that if our students don’t start with a strong foundation, they’re going to struggle for years to come," Covington School Superintendent Melinda Snead-Johnson said. "And we don’t want that to happen.”

The third Alleghany Education Summit, this year was about investing in early childhood education.

The First Lady of Virginia, Pamela Northam, attended. She not only was a keynote speaker, but got her first taste of “Baby Shark” thanks to those preschoolers.

“Courageous cities like those here in the Alleghany County area are leading innovative approaches to early education," she said. "And we want to do everything we can to support you at the state level.”

Including appointing a “Chief School Readiness Officer,”Jenna Conway, who also spoke.

“We are focused on figuring out how do we in the course of a few years, a few short years, make sure more Virginia children are entering kindergarten ready,” Conway said.

“So the educators and the community are focusing on any kind of initiative that will not only help preschoolers, but will help students with the profile of Virginia graduate," said Covington's Snead-Johnson. "Help them graduate and have a successful life.”