From the Director

The Literacy for Learning, Living, and Leading in Georgia (L4GA) initiative at Georgia Department of Education (GaDOE) is a great example of how communities can successfully come together to find new ways to support children from birth through grade 12. This initiative was awarded a second round of federal funding, totaling nearly $180 million, to support literacy-focused community partnerships that pair community-driven action with research-proven instruction.

Ninety-five percent of these funds will be awarded to local school districts and their community partners. We encourage communities to use the resources available on the GaDOE website. Applications are due Monday, Feb. 10.

With gratitude,

#GetGAReading this Month

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

“From 2015 to 2019 we’ve moved the needle to more of our children reading proficiently above the national norm. With the four pillars as our guide, we’ve crafted unexpected solutions and transformed how systems operate.” #GetGAReading Campaign Director Arianne Weldon shares the state of childhood literacy in #GA: what we’ve accomplished over the past five years, what we've learned, and new ways to accelerate our progress.

“From 2015-2019 we’ve moved the needle to more of our children reading proficiently above the national norm.” Arianne Weldon shares what the #GetGAReading Campaign has accomplished in the past 5 years, what we've learned & new ways to accelerate progress.


The Office of the Child Advocate (OCA) knows that while placing a child in foster care is sometimes a necessity, it also creates additional trauma for the child. This trauma, coupled with other adverse childhood experiences, can have lifelong effects and impact the child’s physical and mental health. OCA and the child welfare system promote efforts to help prevent families and children from needing to engage with the child welfare system. During OCA’s fall summit, books were collected for children in foster care. Learn More


Garry McGiboney, GaDOE Deputy Superintendent for the Office of School Safety, is a constant presence as the Campaign travels across the state to host community learning events. He is a longtime advocate for positive learning climates, working tirelessly to encourage school districts to implement Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS). Embracing the Campaign’s epidemiological approach, he has lifted up the impact of language deficits on children’s behavior and learning, and helped develop the “Signals” webinar series.

The State of Childhood Literacy in Georgia

“Cabinet members and partners have integrated the four pillars into strategic plans, proposals, and funding opportunities,” said Get Georgia Reading Campaign Director Arianne Weldon. “And with these four pillars as our guide, we’ve crafted unexpected solutions and transformed how systems operate.” Dive into what we've accomplished over the past five years, what we've learned, and new ways to accelerate our progress. Watch Weldon’s remarks.

Georgia School Board Recognizes Twiggs County Literacy Effort

“Vitamins R (Reading) and L (Literacy)” aims to increase language nutrition received by 2- and 3-year-old siblings of Twiggs County students. During monthly events at the public library and elementary school, children and caregivers receive books, healthy food, and information like research findings about reading aloud and increasing the language of young children. Assessment results show much progress is being made.

Kindergarten Class Attends Classmate's Adoption Hearing

Positive learning climates include healthy and supportive relationships, and teachers and staff play a critical role in promoting positive social interactions—something a kindergarten teacher in Michigan knows well. When her student, Michael, was adopted by his foster parents, she planned a “field trip” to the courtroom to make the day even more special. Everyone was invited to share what Michael means to them.

Creative Youth Development in the Context of Homelessness

With more than 1 million students in the U.S. experiencing homelessness, community-based out-of-school programs can provide young people with a break from adverse living conditions, access to community resources, and opportunities to build relationships. These programs support stability while creating structural change.

Parents’ Solutions to Georgia’s Child Care Challenges

When a recent report revealed $1.75 billion in lost economic activity annually, the Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce and Georgia Early Education Alliance for Ready Students (GEEARS) engaged parents from across Georgia in focus groups to better understand the impact and nature of their child care challenges and to identify possible solutions. Findings are available in a report and video.

Promoting Regular Attendance in the Winter Months

Attendance Works developed a Winter Messaging Toolkit to help parents and community members develop strategies and plans to overcome winter-related barriers to attendance. Attendance Works and Children’s Health Fund also created a video that explains how families can keep kids healthy and in school.

Office of Adult Education Announces Multiyear Adult Education Grant Competition

Eligible providers can apply to receive federal and state matching funds, under the Adult Education & Family Literacy Act, to provide adult education and literacy activities to individuals over the age of 16 without a high school diploma or who are basic skills deficient, as well as English language learners. Technical College System of Georgia’s Office of Adult Education will hold a technical assistance day for all interested applicants on Monday, Feb. 10, at Chattahoochee Technical College. Register by Friday, Feb. 7.

2020 Community Leadership Conference

Tuesday – Wednesday, Feb. 4 – 5
University of Georgia Center for Continuing Education & Hotel, Athens
Strong, action-oriented leadership is inspiring positive change in communities across Georgia. Attendees will discover best practices for developing leaders, learn from trendsetters and innovators in the community leadership field, and receive research-based content on community leadership development. Scholarships are available. Register Now


Balancing Act: How Business and Policy Support Modern Parenting

Thursday, Feb. 6; 11:30 a.m.
Buckhead Club, Atlanta
GEEARS hosts Josh Levs, award-winning author and leading global expert on modern fathers, as he discusses how a range of family friendly policies can attract top talent, keep it, and help our economy thrive. Tickets are $20 each or $100 for a table of eight. Get Tickets

“Together, We Can Feed Georgia’s Hungry Children” Summit

Tuesday, Feb. 25
Helms College, Macon
Bright from the Start: Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning (DECAL) is looking for eligible organizations to serve healthy meals to children when school is not in session through the Summer Food Service Program. This free summit is for those interested in learning more about the program. Keynote speaker Clarissa Hayes, senior child nutrition policy analyst with the Food Research & Action Center (FRAC), will discuss child hunger in Georgia. Learn More

Read Across America Day

Monday, March 2
Read Across America is a reading motivation and awareness program hosted by the National Education Association that calls for every child in every community to celebrate reading on the birthday of beloved children’s author Dr. Seuss. From promotional materials to fact sheets to media tips, these great resources will help you get started. Plan Your Event

Georgia Public Broadcasting (GPB) – PBS KIDS Writers Contest

Submission Deadline: Friday, March 20
The GPB – PBS KIDS Writers Contest is officially open to Georgia students in grades K – 3. Children are encouraged to submit original, illustrated stories for great prizes and a chance to be featured on the GPB website. Learn More

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
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