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First Lady visits WPS students

Chris Buchanan

FirstLady-MainGeorgia First  Lady Sandra Deal stopped by Waynesville Primary School earlier this week to read to the kindergarten classes while also promoting the joys of reading to an eager audience.

Deal read a poem by her husband as well as a children’s book entitled “What I’d Like To Be” to the packed media center and entertained students.

First Lady Deal, her husband Gov. Nathan Deal, Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning Commissioner Bobby Cagle and state School Superintendent John Barge joined together this month to kick off “Read Across Georgia” in March.

Since then the First Lady has made appearance to read in almost every county in the state of Georgia.  But for Deal, a former teacher, the trips are about far more than just visiting the state’s many regions.  She also hopes to work toward broadening the interest in reading at a young age.

“We must increase the percentage of children reading well and independently at grade-level because this lays the groundwork for all of their future academic and career endeavors,” she said. “This past year, I had the opportunity to visit 100 counties and 170 schools emphasizing to parents, teachers and mentors the importance of being proficient in reading. I look forward to seeing what we can accomplish during my Read Across Georgia initiative this year.”

As a part of the celebration, DECAL sponsored “Georgia Reads Aloud Day” on March 19. On this day, parents, child care providers and the entire communities were encouraged to make a special effort to read to children of all ages.

“Reading can have a huge impact in the lives of our state’s youngest learners and ‘Read Across Georgia’ and ‘Georgia Reads Aloud Day’ are great ways for everyone to get involved,” said DECAL Commissioner Bobby Cagle. “Both programs support Governor Deal’s goal to have all of Georgia’s children reading on grade level by third grade.”

Bright from the Start: Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning is responsible for meeting the child care and early education needs of Georgia’s children and their families. It administers the nationally recognized Georgia’s Pre-K Program, licenses child care centers and home-based child care, administers Georgia’s Childcare and Parent Services program, federal nutrition programs, and manages voluntary quality enhancement programs.

The department also houses the Head Start State Collaboration Office, distributes federal funding to enhance the quality and availability of child care, and works collaboratively with Georgia child care resource and referral agencies and organizations throughout the state to enhance early care and education. For more information, go to

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