Thomasville Times Enterprise

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April 22, 2013

First lady to visit local schools

THOMASVILLE — Georgia First Lady Sandra Deal will visit schools in Thomas and Grady counties Wednesday morning.

She will visit Hand-in-Hand Primary School, Jerger Elementary School and Brookwood School in Thomasville and Shiver Elementary School in Grady County.

Deal will read to young children at the schools.

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 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,” Deal said. “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.”

The governor said in his State of the State address earlier this year that 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.

The first lady’s goal is to visit every school district statewide during the next three years.

 

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Georgia Department of Education District Effectiveness Specialist Bobby Smith educates Thomas County teachers about Georgia’s new accountability program, the College and Career Ready Performance Index, at a Tuesday meeting.

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