Lawmakers help celebrate Pre-K Day with Sharpsburg's All-Stars Academy
By REBECCA LEFTWICH
All Stars Academy in Sharpsburg welcomed Congressman-elect Robert Stokely, State Representative Lynn Smith and Andy Bush, District Director of Congressman Lynn Westmoreland’s office, as its students celebrated Georgia Pre-K Day at the learning facility.
“We are so honored that our officials are taking time away from their demanding schedule to spend time with us,” said Tina Anderson, Early Education Director at the academy. “We couldn’t wait to show them how revenue from the state’s lottery is being put to such important use in helping 4-year-olds gain the critical skills they need to prepare for their future academic success in school.”
Smith changed into green sneakers to read “Pete the Cat: Rocking in My School Shoes.” She also taught students a special song to go along with the book, special to her because of a connection she made with author Eric Litwin and James Dean, “Pete’s” creator and illustrator, when the pair was honored by the Georgia General Assembly.
“I’ve read their books to Pre-K students – and grandchildren – before, so I knew this book would be a great interactive story for the children,” Smith said. “And, there is a good web site, www.harpercollinschildrens.com/petethecat , for more interaction with the story both at school and home. Plus, I had great props with my green tennis shoes.”
Smith said she believes reading to children is an important contribution for adults to make.
“Magical things happen as the children and the reader begin to interact with the stories,” Smith said. “We all had fun as I put on my green shoes so I could rock and read in my school shoes. In the end, we’re developing our next generation of great readers.”
During Pre-K week, special attention focused on thousands of Georgia’s Pre-K students as they celebrated their accomplishments and shared how they prepared for academic success in Pre-K classrooms across the state.
All Stars Academy was selected as a featured school for the second annual event, hosted by Voices for Georgia’s Children (www.georgiavoices.org ) and its partners. Smith, Stokely and Bush spent the morning at the nationally accredited preschool to learn first-hand what goes on in a Pre-K classroom. gaining an up-close look at ways the school is supporting early education through its Pre-K program.
“Pre-K is about learning and getting children on a path to reading proficiency, so that when they reach third grade they can make the important educational leap from learning to read to reading to learn,” said Pat Willis, executive director of Voices for Georgia’s Children. “Pre-K Week is an exciting opportunity to showcase All Stars Academy and the many other quality Pre-K Programs we have in Georgia.”