The sixth annual Georgia Pre-K Week took place on October 3-7, 2016. Georgia Pre-K Week 2016 continued to build on the success of previous years and was a huge win for raising the awareness of early childhood education in Georgia. Voices is proud to report that 140 elected officials and other state leaders made 225 confirmed visits to Pre-K centers in their communities during the month of October as part of Georgia Pre-K Week 2016. The collective success of the last five years adds up to 77% of all current state legislators as well as countless other state, local, and business leaders having a personal experience with Georgia’s Pre-K.
Key Leader Visits
A total of 140 state leaders made 225 confirmed visits to Pre-K centers during the month of October as a part of Georgia Pre-K Week 2016. A couple highlights include:
- Governor Nathan Deal and First Lady Sandra Deal read to a Pre-K Class at Discovery Point #67 in Cumming, GA on Monday, October 3th.
- First Lady Sandra Deal visited 15 Pre-K centers during the month of October.
- 15 members of the Governor’s leadership team participated in Georgia Pre-K Week.
- Other key statewide leaders who participated included DFCS Director Bobby Cagle, DHS Commissioner Robyn Crittenden, DECAL Commissioner Amy Jacobs, GOSA’s Executive Director Martha Ann Todd, and State Superintendent Richard Woods.
- Four members of Georgia’s Congressional Delegation participated in the Pre-K Week 2016, including Representatives Rick Allen, Buddy Carter, Jody Hice, and Barry Loudermilk.
- 32 Senators (representing 56 percent of the currently occupied seats in the Senate) made 36 visits to Pre-K centers in their districts.
- 80 Representatives (representing 45 percent of the currently occupied seats in the House) made 139 confirmed visits to Pre-K centers in their districts.
Georgia Pre-K Week is made possible through the active participation and support of many partners. This year, Voices was joined by a record-breaking 21 non-profit and two corporate sponsors.
- Georgia Power and Synovus all returned for the third year as corporate sponsors.
- Georgia Pre-K Week 2016 had a record-breaking 21 community partners, which actively participated in accompanying legislators, inviting local leaders to Pre-K centers, and raising the profile of Pre-K Week through traditional and new media. Our community partners include: Black Child Development Institute- Atlanta, Boys and Girls Club of Metro Atlanta, Ferst Foundation for Childhood Literacy, Georgia Association on Young Children, Georgia Child Care Association, GEEARS: The Georgia Early Education Alliance for Ready Students, Georgia Family Connection Partnership, Georgia Public Library Service, Georgia Partnership for Excellence in Education, Georgia School Boards Association, JumpStart, Junior League of Athens, Junior League of Atlanta, Junior League of Cobb/Marietta, Junior League of Columbus, Junior League of DeKalb, Junior League of Douglas, Junior League of Savannah, Quality Care for Children, United Way of Greater Atlanta, and YMCA of Metro Atlanta.
- 568 Pre-K centers registered as independent participants in Georgia Pre-K Week.
- Registrants received signage, and online resources from Voices to host their own Pre-K Week celebrations.
- Examples of local leaders that visited centers included: mayors, superintendents, county commissioners, city councilmen, judges, school board members, business leaders, district attorneys, elementary school principals, firemen, lawyers, law enforcement, librarians, members of the military, pastors, and parents.
- Due to legislative/leader visits and additional visits organized by community partners and corporate sponsors, a total of 694 Pre-K centers participated in Georgia Pre-K Week.
- Over the last 5 years, 92% of Georgia’s counties have participated in Georgia Pre-K Week.
- With the support of DECAL and the Georgia School Boards Association, Voices arranged visits for school board members in certain districts as part of the second year of this pilot. 17 school board members in these target districts made 19 confirmed visits during the month of October.
Thanks to everyone who participated in Georgia Pre-K Week 2016 and joined Voices for Georgia’s Children in celebrating the importance of early learning in Georgia. Together we can make all children in Georgia have access to high-quality early education!