October 20, 2021

First Lady reads to local children for Georgia Pre-K Week

Georgia First Lady Sandra Deal reading to the Pre-K class at Heard Elementary Wednesday morning (Photo: Heard County Elementary School on Facebook)

(Franklin, GA) — Georgia First Lady Sandra Deal spent time Wednesday visiting with and reading to Heard County Pre-K students at all three elementary schools.

Deal stressed the importance of reading to the young students. She is the driving force behind the “Read Across Georgia” campaign and launched the initiative in support of Governor Deal’s goal of increasing the number of children reading at grade level by the time they finish 3rd grade.

“I just enjoy reading to children because I want them to love books and to love reading because it’s so important to their future,” says First Lady Deal. “If they get engaged in books now as young people they will read the rest of their lives. And of course the earlier we start with the reading, the better.”

The First Lady enjoys interacting with the children and she and her husband Gov. Nathan Deal have been reading to classes across Georgia for several years.

“Nathan and I have read to classes during Georgia Pre-K Week every year for the last eight years, every year of Nathan’s tenure as governor,” the First Lady recently told the AJC.

“In my time as Georgia’s first lady, I have immensely enjoyed seeing the beautiful faces and being a part of the excitement that children have for learning. Each year during this week, I am reminded of how these young minds will determine the future of the state, and how it is our job to nurture them and help each and every one grow up to be the best that they can be.”

The First Lady believes that high-quality early learning experiences like Georgia’s Pre-K program help to lower rates of students repeating grades and reduce dependency on public welfare systems.

Further, with effective early learning, she thinks students are less likely to become involved in the criminal justice system, which improves lives and public safety for everyone.

Mrs. Deal read “The Scarecrow’s Hat” Wednesday — a story about a resourceful chicken that seeks the help of her farm animal friends to solve a problem, while giving something of herself along the way.

The clever story written and illustrated by Ken Brown poses a problem and offers a creative solution that young children will delight in discovering.

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