Representative Paulette Rakestraw Visited YMCA Paulding Early Childhood Development Center for Georgia Pre-K Week

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 ( 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 (, Ferst Foundation for Childhood Literacy (, Georgia Association for Young Children (, Georgia Child Care Association (, Georgia Early Education Alliance for Ready Students (, Georgia Family Connection Partnership (, Georgia Partnership for Excellence in Education (, Georgia Public LibraryService (, JumpStart(,  Multiple Junior League Chapters (, Quality Care for Children (, United Way of Metropolitan Atlanta ( and YMCA(

About Voices for Georgia’s Children

Established in 2003, Voices for Georgia’s Children ( 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” ( 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.

Representative Rakestraw Works For Georgia Job Growth

Paulding County, GA – State Representative Paulette Rakestraw of Paulding County traveled this week to Savannah to meet with members of the Georgia Association of Economic Developers (GEDA).

While in Savannah, Representative Rakestraw spoke with new Department of Community Affairs Commissioner Gretchen Corbin and Tom Croteau, the new Deputy Commissioner of the Georgia Department of Economic Development, to gain insight into their new positions and their visions for shaping their departments to support Georgia’s strategic plan for Economic Growth.

Representative Rakestraw also talked with Jay Neely, Corporate Counsel for Gulfstream, about Gulfstream’s successful story of growing jobs and investing capital resources into Georgia.  Gulfstream has made huge capital investments in the Savannah area, bringing millions of dollars in investment and substantial job growth to the region.

Rep. Rakestraw toured the Port of Savannah and talked with Curtis Foltz, the Executive Director of the Georgia Ports Authority, about growth projections for the Port of Savannah and the future impact it will have on Georgia’s Economy.  The Georgia Ports are credited for creating over 317,777 jobs across the state.  Over 156,698 jobs have been created in the Atlanta Region with 23,749 of those in the Northwest Region of the state, where constituents of Representative Rakestraw Braddock are employed.  The job growth projections are expected to grow substantially in Georgia over the next ten years.

Rep. Rakestraw, Paulding County’s first female legislator, represents the citizens of District 19 in Paulding County and is passionate about economic development for Georgia.  Paulette is the Vice Chair for the Science and Technology committee and serves on the Special Committee for Small Business and Job Creation, Special Rules, Juvenille Justice and Economic Development Committees.

State Representative Paulette Rakestraw (R-19), Tom Croteau, Deputy Commissioner, CDEcD, Gretchen Corbin, Commissioner, DCA, Chairman of Economic Development, Ron Stephens (R-164).

Jay Neely, Corporate Counsel for Gulfstream Air with Representative Paulette Rakestraw (R-19)