Celebrating Georgia Pre-K Week
By Blythe Keeler Robinson, President and CEO, Sheltering Arms
Earlier this month, early learning centers and organizations across the state participated in the 10th annual celebration of Georgia Pre-K, a lottery-funded program available to four-year-olds. This special week-long event highlights the important work that goes on in Pre-K classrooms to get children ready for future school success. Georgia legislators and community leaders are invited to visit and learn first-hand what happens in a quality early learning classroom.
At Sheltering Arms, we have seen many elected officials take time out of their busy schedules to come to our centers and sit in kid-sized chairs to read some of our students’ favorite books and participate in classroom activities. This year, we welcomed visitors who read books and engaged with students virtually. Not only is this a fun time for our children and special guests, but their presence and involvement help emphasize the importance of early literacy. Georgia Pre-K Week is a prime opportunity for visitors to bring books to life for children and inspire a love of reading, which is critical in helping children get on a path to reading proficiency by the time they get to third grade.
As a child’s interest in learning to read is nurtured and grows, it benefits the child and the community in ways that cannot be measured. We have seen students come through the Georgia Pre-K program at our centers, develop a love of reading and learning, and then go on to become teen leaders – speakers, community servants and even entrepreneurs. They become an inspiration to their peers.
The Georgia Pre-K program is a national model. We stand strong with the Voices for Georgia’s Children and the Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning (DECAL), along with other partners who want to see this program continue and be fully supported for the success of future generations.