Anna Hensley, constituent services specialist for the office of Gov. Nathan Deal, reads to pre-k students at the Child Development Center.

Governor’s Office Treats Kids to Magic of Reading at Brenau Child Development Center for Georgia Pre-K Week

Oct 6, 2014
Brenau Staff

Brenau University’s Child Development Center received a special visit from Anna Hensley, constituent services specialist for the office of Gov. Nathan Deal, who read to the pre-K class as part of Georgia Pre-K Week, sponsored by Voices for Georgia’ Children. Hensley treated the excited children to readings of the popular children’s book series “Pete the Cat,” a character that is also the mascot for the Georgia Pre-K Week.

“I am really excited to read at Brenau’s CDC to support Georgia Pre-K Week,” said Hensley. “Every year I look forward to it, because I love kids. Our office is striving for 100 percent participation this year, so all members of our staff are reading at different schools in the Atlanta area.”

Hensley read the pre-k students two "Pete the Cat" books during her visit.
Hensley read the pre-k students two “Pete the Cat” books during her visit.

Georgia Pre-K Week is a weeklong celebration of Georgia’s Pre-K programs and all early education. During this week, leaders from across the state visit classrooms, where they can read to a Pre-K Class and tour the center. The week-long event allows state leaders to experience firsthand the quality learning that takes place in classrooms across the state. The Voices for Georgia’s Children, who sponsors the event, is a non-profit child policy and advocacy organization that works to provide the necessary research-based information, measures, collective voice and proposed legislation to benefit children’s education, well-being and connection to family and community.

This year is the fourth annual Georgia Pre-K Week, but it is the second year of Hensley’s participation since the program has extended from state government officials to full staff. Coordinating through the Voices of Georgia’s Children contact Kisha Clark, she selected the area where she wanted to read, which was her hometown of Gainesville. Last year, Hensley read to the classes at New Holland Academy, which were about 6 to 8 pre-K classes combined. In the past, she has also participated in the Atlanta public schools mentoring program “Everybody Wins!” and she has mentored at Centennial High School in Roswell, Georgia.

Heather Lyons, the director of the Brenau CDC for six years, helped to arrange Hensley’s visit and recognizes the value of her visit to the pre-K class. “It is important that the governor’s office sees how they affect pre-K programs and children’s education. Pre-K makes a huge difference in preparing them for kindergarten. It’s the bridge from the children’s early years into the school system.”

The Brenau CDC pre-K classes are for children ages 4 to 5, although the center also offers classes for toddlers as young as ages 1-2 and up through pre-K. Providing child-centered experiences that will help the student reach their maximum potential, the Child Development Center focuses on creative curriculums that encourage cognitive, emotional, physical, and social growth. Brenau University students enrolled in teacher preparation, nursing, and occupational therapy have a unique advantage in being able to utilize the Center for applying and synthesizing theoretical knowledge, and to gain experience working with children.