Harris Co. wins “Georgia Reads Aloud Day” contest

PRESS RELEASE

ATLANTA, Ga., (April 30, 2012) – Clearly, they were up
for the challenge.  Wednesday, April 25, 2012, was “Georgia Reads Aloud Day”
and child care centers and schools across the State participated in record
numbers.  With teachers, parents and special guests participating, classrooms
reported reading 13,993 books on Wednesday.  The event was sponsored by Bright
from the Start: Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning and the National
Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) as part of the Month of
the Young Child, held each April.  

 

“We are grateful to all of the
participants, especially the parents, teachers, & mentors who joined
together for Georgia Reads Aloud Day,” said Georgia's First Lady Sandra Deal. 
“Children model their reading habits by listening to adults. It is important
for children to learn proper pronunciation, expression, pauses and cadence. It
is my hope that Georgia Reads Aloud Day has encouraged our children to read to
others and become young teachers themselves.”

 

“This was a landmark day for reading
by our state's youngest learners,” said Bobby Cagle, commissioner of Bright
from the Start: Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning.  “One of the
simplest ways to boost a child's learning potential is by making books an
integral part of their lives. Reading
to preschoolers and letting them read to you helps build stronger
relationships, supports basic speech skills and enhances future academic
achievement.”

 

“It's always a good day in Pre-K
when children are being read aloud to,” said Susan Adams, assistant
commissioner of Georgia's
Pre-K.  “Georgia Reads Aloud Day reminds teachers and parents about the
importance of reading aloud to young children.  Children that are read aloud to
often are children who grow up to be strong readers.”

 

DECAL sponsored a contest for the
Most Books Read between 7:00 AM and 6:00 PM Wednesday.  The winner was Mulberry
Creek Elementary School Pre-K in Harris
County, northeast of Columbus, where students read 487 books. The
school will receive a special visit from Georgia's First Lady Sandra Deal and
DECAL Commissioner Bobby Cagle. Competition was fierce with Hand in Hand
Primary School in Thomasville taking second place with 386 books read and
Marietta Head Start/Pre-K reading 367 books.

 

“We are thrilled that Mrs. Thomas and
Mrs. Lisle have been honored and recognized for their collaborative efforts in
helping students develop a lifelong love for reading,” said Dr. Justin Finney,
principal of Mulberry
Creek Elementary
School.  “Mrs. Thomas and Mrs. Lisle, and their
innovative ideas, are prime examples of why Harris County
has such great schools.”   “I am extremely proud of our commitment to reading
in Harris County,” said Dr. Craig Dowling,
superintendent of Harris County Schools.  “This is a wonderful example of
teacher collaboration to benefit our Pre-K students.  My congratulations go out
to Mrs. Thomas, Mrs. Lisle, and all of the students who participated in this
program.”

 

Other schools were equally pleased
with the day.  “We had 17 adults come and read to our class including
administrators, the school nurse, and parents,” said Deborah Wallish, a Pre-K
teacher at Waynesboro
Primary School, where
students read 43 books.  “Our theme was ‘Reading Rocks!' and we gave each
participant a Reading Rock Star certificate and a packet of Starburst
candies.” 

 

Jennifer Jones, site director for
Murray County Pre-K Center, said her classes got creative.  “We combined
‘Georgia Reads Aloud Day' with ‘Muffins for Mom-Happy Mother's Day' all in one
fun-filled event. We distributed reading tips to all families, and made
bookmarks as well.” The class read 36 books. 

“The children were very eager to read
today when they found out it was a competition,” said Mary Shallenberger, Pre-K
Lead Teacher at Chattahoochee Technical College in Dallas, Georgia,  where 48
books were read.  “They found every possible opportunity to read books, even
while waiting to use the potty.”

 

The Month of the Young Child is based
upon the Week of the Young Child, which is an annual celebration sponsored by
the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), www.naeyc.org.  NAEYC first
established the Week of the Young Child in 1971, recognizing that the early
childhood years (birth through age 8) lay the foundation for children's success
in school and later life.

 

About Bright from the Start

Bright from the Start: Georgia
Department of Early Care and Learning is responsible for meeting the child
care and early education needs of Georgia's children and their
families. It administers the nationally recognized Georgia's Pre-K Program, licenses
child care centers and home-based child care, administers federal nutrition
programs, and manages voluntary quality enhancement programs.

 

The department also houses the Head
Start State Collaboration Office, distributes federal funding to enhance the
quality and availability of child care, and works collaboratively with Georgia child
care resource and referral agencies and organizations throughout the state to
enhance early care and education. For more information, go to www.decal.ga.gov.