This week I wore mouse ears, and I LOVED it!
“If You Give a Mouse a Cookie” is the book being read in pre-kindergarten classrooms throughout the state this week, including in Atlanta Public Schools, as our early learners participate in Georgia Pre-K Week. Pre-K Week is a celebration of the tremendous learning taking place in our Pre-K program and early learning classes. I started my day yesterday with the 4-year-olds at Bethune Elementary School and later visited M. Agnes Jones Elementary School. Together with students and their teachers, we read Laura Numeroff’s sweet book about an insatiable little mouse who is not content with simply receiving a cookie before bedtime. There were plenty of props (I always bring props…remember my guitar last year with Pete the Cat?), there were “a-ha” moments and great questions from our kiddos about the book.
Quality early education, especially in urban districts, can provide life-changing opportunities to students. One of the reasons I was so excited about becoming the superintendent of APS was that I knew this district, and the state of Georgia, valued the early learning classroom and its teachers. In APS, I am proud to say that we have made a tremendous investment in our earliest learners. We currently have 44 Pre-K classrooms at 39 school sites across the district, serving over 920 students.
Our program is growing and thriving under the leadership of Early Learning Coordinator Courtney Jones, and I’m always impressed with the activities I see taking place each month when I visit teachers and students. She’s increased the interaction between our early learning office and parents by becoming active on Twitter (and you know how I love Twitter), and also publishing a monthly online newsletter for parents – Click Here to check out the October edition. And our teachers…oh man, those are our soldiers. One thing I was reminded of this week was that Pre-K students REALLY like to talk…about everything! And they have strong opinions…again, about everything! And they like to hug and even tackle superintendents!
Our teachers are so patient, and loving and smart and they understand the science (and heart), behind teaching our youngest brains. We are a very fortunate district.
Happy Pre-K week everyone – let’s keep this celebration of early learning going all year long!