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Georgia's First Lady helps celebrate pre-K week

First Lady Sandra Deal visited Discovery Point Child Development Center No. 3 in Duluth on Thursday as part of pre-K week.

First Lady Sandra Deal visited Discovery Point Child Development Center No. 3 in Duluth on Thursday as part of pre-K week.

DULUTH — The state of Georgia is celebrating pre-K week and first lady Sandra Deal got in on the action Thursday as she visited Discovery Point Child Development Center No. 3.

While there, she participated in a reading activity with the children, took a tour of the facility and learned specifically the center is supporting early learning. Deal read “Who I’d Like to Be” by Elizabeth Brown to the 44 children in the pre-K program at the center.

“It was a tremendous honor to have Mrs. Deal come and read to our children,” said owner Michelle Maliziaso. “The kids were excited and we were excited that she would take time out of her busy schedule to visit us.”

With tens of thousands of students in 3,800 Georgia pre-K classrooms across the state, emphasis is being put on this all-important step.

“It’s the first step in a child’s education,” Maliziaso said. “Georgia pre-K helps with all the beginning skills a child needs to be successful in kindergarten. “

Patt Willis, executive director of Voices for Georgia’s Children, said the program is a model for the rest of the country.

“Georgia’s Pre-K program is an exceptional program that can serve as a model for our country,” Willis said. “About 84,000 four year olds in Georgia benefit from this remarkable program, a milestone in the critical phase of education that takes place from birth to age 8.”

Although the visit garnered a lot of attention from the staff, parents and kids, Maliziaso said that same excitement is there every day.

“We take a lot of pride in the quality of our program,” she said. “We want them to love to learn. From math to reading to social skills, they’re all building block towards the future.”