JULY 2020
Carmen Agra Deedy shares an important lesson about remaining optimistic during hard times.

From the Director

The change in our current lives and uncertain future due to the coronavirus pandemic has left our children physically and emotionally isolated. That’s why we created the “Georgia Storytellers Series.” Some local celebrated authors, storytellers, and musicians have come together to connect with and inspire children and families through stories.

The COVID-19 outbreak sent children home three months earlier this year—lengthening the summer slide and causing students to lose up to six months of reading ability, further widening the achievement gap. More than ever, our students need to keep reading and learning. Parents, teachers, and communities play an important role in helping kids learn to love stories.

Please help us encourage all children and families in Georgia to share their own stories on social media. They can retell a favorite tale or make up one of their own. Read it, sing it, act it, dance it—the sky is the limit. Upload videos to Facebook or Twitter using the #GetGAReading hashtag so that we can share them.

With gratitude,

#GetGAReading this Month

Please share these posts on your own social media platforms this month.

Georgia's families have a new resource to support children's growth and development. GPB Education has partnered with Bright by Text to send tips, activities and information to help parents and caregivers raise healthy, happy kids. To sign up, visit or text GPB to 274448.

Want to make sure your child is reaching important early milestones? Get free tips sent to your phone from @BrightbyText. To sign up, visit or text GPB to 274448. #SchoolsOutGA


Books for Keeps Overcomes Pandemic Obstacles

Athens-based Books for Keeps provides free books to children in grades K – 5 to read over the summer. When COVID-19 shut down schools in March, along with Books for Keeps school-based book distributions, the organization pivoted to create an e-commerce site where children could browse available titles and pick out free books to be delivered by volunteers. As teachers began to help, the effort picked up steam.

DECAL Spotlights Dangers of Leaving Children in Vehicles

The Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning (DECAL) is again calling for families and caregivers of children to increase awareness of the dangers of leaving children unattended in vehicles. This year’s “Look Again” campaign aims to ensure that families, child care providers, and the public understand how to prevent pediatric vehicular heatstroke. Share the "Look Again" PSA.

L4GA Grants Support Literacy Efforts in Georgia

The Georgia Department of Education (GaDOE) is awarding Literacy for Learning, Living, and Leading in Georgia (L4GA) grants to 23 school districts to support community-driven action paired with research-proven instruction. The funding helps schools, early learning providers, caregivers, and local leaders collaborate to support children’s literacy development from birth through third grade. GaDOE will run another grant competition in late 2020.

Fueling a Love of Learning

Emily Rubin, director of Communication Crossroads, emphasizes the importance of creating a positive learning environment where social-emotional engagement is the fuel for a child’s learning. When children fall in love with the social world, they seek out social connections with words. Rubin dives into the three main phases of development: attachment, language development, and executive functioning. Rubin helps teachers define what engagement looks like and how to achieve it.
Rubin says social-emotional engagement is the fuel for a child’s learning.
Visit to help kids eat, learn, and stay safe when school’s out.
Visit for a list of timely resources.

Shine Your Light Summer 2020

Shine Your Light Summer 2020, a project of the Atlanta Speech School’s Rollins Center for Language and Literacy, is a suite of tools with a reading-based focus that celebrates children’s emotions, encourages empathy, and ensures that teachers know how to assess and teach each child. Categories include teacher readiness for K – 3 educators, pop-up learning for birth – 5 and K – 3, “Talk, Read, Play LIVE” for birth – 5 families and educators, and “Hablemos, Leamos y Juguemos” for Spanish-speaking families.

Encouraging Parents to Read, Sing, and Tell Stories with Children

Only about one third of U.S. mothers read to their baby every day, and under two thirds sing songs and tell stories to their babies on a daily basis. Child Trends highlights several easy, evidence-based, and low-cost initiatives that state early childhood leaders can draw on to enhance children’s early literacy and language skills by supporting parents in reading, singing, and storytelling with children.

Applying the Four Pillars: Teacher Preparation and Effectiveness

Nicole Patton Terry from the Florida Center for Reading Research answers the question, "How and why are we to address reading in this moment?" and highlights considerations for motivating change in teacher preparation and effectiveness as you plan your strategy for community partnership to improve literacy.

GLR Learning Tuesdays Webinars

Aug. 4, 11, 18, and 25; 3 p.m.
The Campaign for Grade-Level Reading’s (GLR) series of online learning events for the GLR Network helps lift up the best science, ideas, and programs to inform local efforts. Upcoming webinars will explore strategies for reducing chronic absenteeism in rural communities and addressing learning loss during COVID-19. Register Now

Attendance Awareness Campaign

“A Trauma-Informed Welcome to School” Webinar
Wednesday, Aug. 19, 2 p.m.
“Best Practices for Successful Transition During COVID-19” Webinar
Wednesday, Sept. 30, 2 p.m.
As a result of the many challenges presented by the pandemic, Attendance Works is launching the 2020 Attendance Awareness Campaign this month, which is focused on providing resources for educators and policymakers to help plan for the transition back to school in our new environment. This year’s theme, “Present, Engaged and Supported!,” emphasizes that strong, trusting relations between kids, families, teachers, and other critical school staff will have a big impact on the ability of students to focus and learn. Attendance Works has created “The Guide to Using the Attendance Playbook: Smart Strategies for Reducing Chronic Absenteeism in the COVID Era,” a companion to the updated Attendance Playbook. Get Started

Farm to School Month

October 2020
Register now to receive event kit.
“Turnip the Volume (Can You Dig It?)” is a statewide effort coordinated by Georgia Organics to get kids eating, growing, and participating in turnip-themed activities. Sign up for an online toolkit filled with quick activities, standards-based lessons, recipes, videos, and more. The first 300 people to sign up will receive a free packet of turnip seeds, washable turnip tattoos, and a Georgia Planting and Harvest Calendar for school gardens. Register Now

We Want to Hear From You

Our partners are the heroes in this work, and we want to help connect you with each other and with resources that can help you get even greater results. And we want to hear more stories. Please share yours with us so we can post it to Send your stories—or any questions about the Campaign—to Arianne Weldon at
Copyright © 2020 Get Georgia Reading, All rights reserved.