On Wednesday, June 5, Voices for Georgia’s Children and our partners kicked off our Early Learning Days of Action –– a campaign aimed at helping Georgia remain a national leader in early childhood education by encouraging Georgia leaders to prioritize funding for quality early education. From the time we launched the campaign on the 5th, until it ended on the 14th, Voices and our partners experienced a tremendous show of support from all across Georgia!
By June 15 we reached more than 20,000 people on our social media sites and we gained more than 150 signatures on our petition encouraging Georgia leaders to make early education a priority. Signers ranged from 70 different cities in every region of the state, spanning 98 different zip codes.
Here are just of the few of our favorite reasons people listed about why early investment is so important to them as teachers, social service workers, and Moms who have beat the odds:
Our community will lose a fantastic early learning center due to lack of funding by WireGrass Georgia Technical College. Parents and children no longer have 44 Georgia Pre-k slots along with more than 60 child care slots. 12 staff members (trained, experienced staff) are without employment. –– Susan Hogan, from Fitzgerald
My children and I are the product of a successful experience with a early childhood program; as a result of what we received from this program, I returned to school and am currently working toward obtaining a Masters in Business Administration. Each of my four sons graduated from college and are now pursuing a career in the field of their choosing. Early childhood education programs like Head Start truly make a difference in a person’s life and their future. –– Portia Andrews, from Decatur
I look at my children in my community who look at the world with sad eyes, who never know success and whose parents do not talk to them except to yell, and I know we can do better. We can support children and families in a way that prepares them for a future many of them will not experience in a positive way. In Georgia right now we are endangering the future of all of us because many think early education is a waste. If we do not offer tangible support to the children (ages) 0-5 and their families, there will be a diminished tomorrow for everyone in Georgia. –– Carol Vedrody, from Calhoun
I have a niece, nephew and grandbaby that will be impacted by this legislation. As a former educator, I know that all children need a firm foundation to enhance learning opportunities to become productive members of society. –– Patricia Bell, from Lithia Springs
I was a recipient of good early childhood learning. It helped me to be the first one in my family to get a Ph.D. I also care about the children of today and tomorrow –– that they would have the opportunity to pursue their potential to the fullest. –– Kathy Dawson, from Decatur
I’ve been working in the early learning field for 12 years. The outcomes show there is a remarkable difference in the development, testing scores and level of parent involvement for children in a quality early learning program or home visiting program. –– Catherine Margrave, from Conyers.
Early learning opportunities are so important for our children, especially living in our rural areas where other enrichment activities are scarce and where poverty runs rampant. Please provide every dollar possible to Early Learning programs for the sake of our children in South Central Georgia and all across our state and nation. –– United Way of South Central Georgia
Thanks to Georgia’s advocates for young children we have a strong message to carry to our members of Congress: “We’re counting on you to help all children be ready for school so Georgia can be ready for the future.”
Voices for Georgia’s Children will deliver the letter with 150 signatures to all 16 members of the Georgia Congressional delegation.
Thank you to everyone who joined the campaign. You are raising the advocacy level for young children. Stay tuned for more opportunities by signing up for the Georgia Birth to Five Coalition. Our kids depend on your voice!