Get Georgia Reading Campaign Officially Kicks Off

Posted October 20, 2014, By the Annie E. Casey Foundation

Georgia First Lady Sandra Deal joined state commissioners, educators, parents, business leaders and children’s authors in making a promise to young children across the state at the Aug. 6 kickoff event for Get Georgia Reading.

Watch videos from the launch event

Get Georgia Reading is a public-private partnership of parents, caregivers, educators and business, state and local leaders committed to getting all children in Georgia on a path to reading on grade level by the end of third grade — by 2020. Two-thirds of the state’s fourth-graders are not proficient readers.

More than 100 partners gathered for the kickoff at Georgia Public Broadcasting in Atlanta. Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr. Brenda Fitzgerald promised to use Women, Infants and Children offices across the state to promote the early development of language skills, which is as essential to healthy brain development as nutritious food is to physical growth. Department of Early Care and Learning Interim Commissioner Amy Jacobs promised to continually strengthen Georgia Pre-K and the state’s other early learning efforts to provide the youngest children with a strong foundation of learning and literacy. State School Superintendent John Barge promised to support ongoing training and professional development for classroom teachers in reading and literacy development.

Last year, Get Georgia Reading partners collaborated to develop an agenda for change to guide the campaign in the coming years. The result was a common agenda geared toward making sure all young children in Georgia experience the conditions necessary to read on grade level: early development of language skills, access to educational and supportive services, productive learning climates and prepared and effective teachers.