Hiram, GA, — Representative Paulette Rakestraw sat alongside a group of 4-year-olds on Oct 4, 2013, reading to the group from a favorite children’s book as part of Georgia’s Pre-K Week. Around the state, attention will be turned to the tens of thousands of Georgia’s youngest children in celebration of the important work they are doing to prepare for school success.
September 30-October 4 is the state’s official Pre-K Week, hosted by Voices for Georgia’s Children (www.georgiavoices.org) and its Pre-K Week partners. Representative Rakestraw is one of nearly 150 officials who will visit some of the approximately 3,800 Pre-K classrooms located in all 159 counties in Georgia.
“We know that early childhood education is critical to future success, and preparing for elementary school is an important part of life for a child from birth through age five,” said Representative Rakestraw. “We are thrilled to be honoring our some of our youngest learners this week, and proud of what our state is accomplishing through Georgia’s Pre-K program.”
Representative Rakestraw participated in a reading activity with the children, toured the facility, talked with the staff, and got an up-close look at the many ways that the center is supporting early learning.
“Georgia’s Pre-K program is an exceptional program that can serve as a model for our country,” said Pat Willis, Executive Director of Voices for Georgia’s Children, a child advocacy organization. “About 84,000 four-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.”
Joining Voices for Georgia’s Children as partners on Georgia Pre-K Week are Black Child Development Institute Atlanta (http://bcdi-atl.org), Ferst Foundation for Childhood Literacy (www.ferstfoundation.org), Georgia Association for Young Children (www.gayconline.org), Georgia Child Care Association (www.georgiachildcare.org), Georgia Early Education Alliance for Ready Students (www.geears.org), Georgia Family Connection Partnership (www.gafcp.org), Georgia Partnership for Excellence in Education (www.gpee.org), Georgia Public LibraryService (www.georgialibraries.org), JumpStart(www.jstart.org), Multiple Junior League Chapters (gajlspac.org), Quality Care for Children (www.qualitycareforchildren.org), United Way of Metropolitan Atlanta (www.unitedwayatlanta.org) and YMCA(www.ymcaatlanta.org).
About Voices for Georgia’s Children
Established in 2003, Voices for Georgia’s Children (www.georgiavoices.org) is a nonprofit child policy and advocacy organization that envisions a Georgia where children are safe, healthy, educated, employable, and connected to their family and community. Our mission to be a powerful, unifying voice for a public agenda that ensures the well-being of all of Georgia’s children.
About “Pete the Cat”
Voices for Georgia’s Children is proud to have “Pete the Cat” as the 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 And His Four Groovy Buttons, 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 And His Four Groovy Buttons to all legislators for their use in reading to Pre-K students across the state.