Gov. Nathan Deal, first lady Sandra Deal, Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning Commissioner Bobby Cagle and state School Superintendent John Barge joined together Monday to kick off “Read Across Georgia” month in the North Wing of the state Capitol.
“We must increase the percentage of children reading well and independently at grade-level because this lays the groundwork for all of their future academic and career endeavors,” said Mrs. Deal. “This past year, I had the opportunity to visit 100 counties and 170 schools emphasizing to parents, teachers and mentors the importance of being proficient in reading. I look forward to seeing what we can accomplish during my Read Across Georgia initiative this year.”
As a part of the celebration, DECAL will sponsor “Georgia Reads Aloud Day” on March 19. On this day, parents, child care providers and the entire community are encouraged to make a special effort to read to children of all ages. Classrooms are invited to enter a contest for the most books read between the hours of 7 a.m. and 6 p.m. on March 19. The winning classroom will receive a special visit and reading from Mrs. Deal and DECAL Commissioner Cagle.
“Reading can have a huge impact in the lives of our state’s youngest learners and ‘Read Across Georgia’ and ‘Georgia Reads Aloud Day’ are great ways for everyone to get involved,” said Cagle. “Both programs support Governor Deal’s goal to have all of Georgia’s children reading on grade level by third grade.”
Bright from the Start: Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning is responsible for meeting the child care and early education needs of Georgia’s children and their families. It administers Georgia’s nationally-recognized pre-K Program, licenses child care centers and home-based child care, administers Georgia’s Childcare and Parent Services program, federal nutrition programs, and manages voluntary quality enhancement programs.
The department also houses the Head Start State Collaboration Office, distributes federal funding to enhance the quality and availability of child care, and works collaboratively with Georgia child care resource and referral agencies and organizations throughout the state to enhance early care and education.