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Opinion: We can be grateful for Pre-K program, children it serves
Butch Miller reading
Sen. Butch Miller reads to children during Pre-K Week 2019. Photo courtesy Butch Miller.

Monday kicked off this year’s Georgia Pre-K Week, which celebrates early childhood education by inviting leaders from all over the state to participate in Georgia’s Pre-K program. 

Each year, state and community leaders read a book to Pre-K students in their respective communities, allowing them time to interact with Georgia’s future leaders and their outstanding teachers. Readers may choose to read the program’s official book for the year, or they can select another from a list of great children’s books like the “Velveteen Rabbit” and Dr. Seuss classics.

Visiting Pre-K programs throughout the community is always a highlight of the year for me, and this year, I had the honor of reading to the little ones at the Creative Learners Child Development Center in Gainesville and the Academy Child Development Center in Oakwood. Energetic, excited and ready to learn, these students brightened my day. Quite frankly, I wasn’t having the best morning. However, I had committed to reading to a group of Pre-K students and I was not going to let them down. 

Little do those students know, but they put spring in my step and a song in my heart. We read a modern classic: “Llama Llama Red Pajama” by Anna Dewdney. As we progressed through the story, I couldn’t help but be grateful — grateful for a room of students whose dreams reach beyond the sky, grateful for the educators who work tirelessly to assist their students in reaching for the stars, and grateful for a community and state that understands the importance of early childhood education.

Established by the late Gov. Zell Miller in 1992, Pre-K Week is a great reminder of the humble beginnings of the Georgia Pre-K program and its momentous impact on the education and overall well-being of our state’s children. 

Today, approximately 1.6 million children have benefitted from the Georgia Pre-K Program, and that number will continue to grow as our state continues to make education a top priority. Thank you to everyone who made this year’s Pre-K Week a success, and thank you to our state’s education leaders who continue to put in the work on behalf of our state’s youngest minds.

The great children’s author Dr. Seuss once said, “The more that you read, the more things you will know, the more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.” To the students in Pre-K Programs across Georgia: Oh, The Places You’ll Go!

Butch Miller

State Senator, District 49

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