First Lady Sandra Deal has launched her “Read Across Georgia” initiative in support of Gov. Nathan Deal’s goal of increasing the percentage of children reading at grade level by the completion of third grade. The governor proclaimed March “Read Across Georgia” month in honor of this initiative. The first lady, alongside state School Superintendent John Barge, will spend the remainder of this month visiting schools across the state, reading to students and emphasizing the necessity of mentorship and the importance of being reading-proficient.
“Parental activities as simple as reading stories aloud to young children can greatly improve and enhance our students’ reading and literacy skills,” said First Lady Deal. “Georgia children are a precious resource and undoubtedly capable of being the future leaders of our state. We, as parents, teachers and mentors, must take it upon ourselves to ensure that our students are good readers.”
As the governor discussed in his State of the State address earlier this year, children who cannot read at a third grade level by the time they finish the third grade are more likely to drop out of school, go to prison and have higher unemployment rates later in life. This statistic shows how important educating the youth of Georgia is to the future well-being of our state.
“We must make a concerted effort to increase the percentage of children reading well and independently at grade-level,” said First Lady Deal. “By focusing our efforts on our youngest learners, we have the ability to teach them crucial skills that lay the ground work for all their future academic and career endeavors.”
The first lady’s goal is to visit every school district across the state over the next three years.