Lawmakers go to school for Georgia Pre-k Week
10/4/2013, 7:10 a.m.
Members of the DeKalb delegation to the Georgia General Assembly went back to school this week – this time to read to the kids.
State representatives and senators fanned out across the county for the third annual Georgia Pre-k Week and the 21st anniversary of Georgia’s pre-k program.
Rep. Rahn Mayo did his stint at Laurel Ridge Elementary School in Decatur, Sen. Emanuel Jones stopped in at Alpha Academy in Decatur, and Sen. Gloria Butler went to Redan Elementary School and Discovery Point Child Development Center in Stone Mountain.
They were among nearly 150 officials who visited some of the 3,800 pre-k classrooms in all 159 counties for Georgia Pre-k Week between Sept. 30-Oct. 4.
Mayo, who represents House District 84 that includes portions of DeKalb County, read to a group of 4-year-old pre-kindergarten students.
“Pre-k education is an essential component for the mental and social development of every child,” he said. “As a leader in Georgia, I will do everything in my power to ensure that our state is prioritizing early childhood education with adequate funding and support.”
He also participated in learning activities with the children, took a tour of the facility, talked with the staff, and got an up-close look at the many ways that the center is supporting early learning.
Georgia Pre-k Week allows the state to bring attention to the tens of thousands of its youngest children on a path to reading proficiency by the third grade.
Pat Willis, executive director of Voices for Georgia’s Children and co-sponsor of the week, said Georgia’s pre-k program can serve as a model for the country.
“About 84,000 4-year-olds in Georgia benefit from this remarkable program, a milestone in the critical phase of education that takes place from birth to age 8,” she said.