October 1-5 is the state’s second official Georgia Pre-K Week, sponsored by Voices for Georgia’s Children and its Pre-K Week partners, and Deal returned the days Tuesday, Oct. 2.
John Meadows, R-Calhoun, read to children, Wednesday, Oct. 3, at the Brighter Tomorrow Child Development Center, in celebration of 20 years of Pre-K in Georgia.
Representative Meadows is one of nearly 150 state officials who have or will visit some of the approximately 3,800 Pre-K classrooms located in all 159 counties in Georgia.
“To remain a competitive state where companies and their employees want to do business, it’s critical for Georgia to maximize the talent and productivity of every citizen. Solid economic research proves that high-quality early learning programs provide all children, with life-long benefits for themselves and society through increased productivity, higher income, better health, upward mobility, and reduced social costs,” said Rep. Meadows. “I’m proud that Georgia’s lottery-funded Pre-K program is making a real difference in the lives of our children – and is helping build a better future for the State.”
Meadows first visited Becky Tidwell and Tara Smith’s Pre-K class, before moving onto Crystal Thomas and Shea Higgins’ Pre-K class.
Meadows read the book “Pete the Cat and his four groovy buttons,” written by Eric Litwin, created and illustrated by James Dean.
“Pete the Cat” is the official honorary mascot for Pre-K Week. “Pete the Cat” (www.petethecat.com) is the creation of Georgia artist James Dean who illustrated the book, Pete the Cat: Rocking In My School Shoes, written by Georgia children’s author Eric Litwin.
Through the generosity of Dean, Litwin, and HarperCollins
Publishers, Voices for Georgia’s Children was able to provide copies of Pete the Cat: Rocking In My School Shoes to all legislators for their use in reading to Pre-K students across the state.
After the readings, each classroom presented a handmade gift from the children thanking Meadows for reading to them.
Established in 1992, Pre-K in Georgia, offers educational program for 4-year-old children for families below a designated income level, and soon opened to all families in 1995.
Pre-K is administered by Bright from the Start, the Department of Early Care and Learning (DECAL).
Georgia continues to lag behind the nation in reading achievement and high school graduation, and national longitudinal studies report that quality Pre-K for very poor 3- and 4- year olds will lead to higher graduation rates; lower instances of welfare, incarceration and substance abuse; and cost savings for government.
According to Brighter Tomorrow’s, Owner and Director, Misty McBrayer, many children who complete the Pre-K program move on to gifted courses later in their school career.