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Georgia celebrates 25th anniversary of pre-K program


October 4, 2017
AJC.com

Some of Georgia’s leading politicians kicked off the 25th birthday of the pre-kindergarten program on Monday by reading to some of the state’s youngest students.

Gov. Nathan Deal and his wife Sandra launched the weeklong celebration by reading to a group of students at the North Fulton Child Development Center in Roswell. The students roared when the program’s brightly colored mascot entered the room.

“This is one of the more successful programs of its type in the country. It’s an important part of teaching children to read, and reading skills help unlock the future for any child,” said Deal.

The lottery-funded pre-K program started in 1992 as a pilot program serving 750 children under then-Gov. Zell Miller’s administration. It has since educated about 1.6 million children.

The pre-K week is coordinated by Voices for Georgia’s Children, the policy and advocacy non-profit that seeks to emphasize early childhood education.

“The broad and diverse base of support from around our state is evidence that Georgia’s leaders care about and understand the long-term impact of quality early learning on each child,” said Erica Fener Sitkoff, the group’s executive director.