DJJ Collaboration: Read Across Georgia
Story support and photo from OCATS Director Lisa Casey Bryson
As part of her Read Across Georgia initiative, Georgia First Lady Sandra Deal visited Sweetwater Creek State Park in Lithia Springs for the opening of a small "library box" in the park's yurt camping village. A long time reading advocate and teacher, Mrs. Deal delivered children's books to stock initially the mini-library. With the library box grand opening, park visitors may borrow and leave books for future visitors to enjoy or swap out as needed.
The Sweetwater Creek library project was a true collaborative effort with the Governor's Office, the Department of Natural Resources, the Department of Corrections, and the Department of Juvenile Justice. Governor Deal's Education Outreach Coordinator Pam Williams came up with the original concept for the library with DNR Commissioner Mark Williams providing the area at the State Parks for the boxes, GDC Commissioner Homer Bryson was responsible for having the boxes built, and DJJ Commissioner Avery Niles provided the book sacks for local kids to carry the books from the library.
The Read Across Georgia campaign, launched in 2012, supports Governor Deal's Grade Level Reading Initiative, which aims to have all Georgia third-graders reading at grade level or better by the completion of third grade. In support of this goal and to promote statewide childhood literacy, First Lady Sandra Deal has visited and read to Pre-K students across the state.
The Department of Juvenile Justice would like to thank First Lady Sandra Deal for kicking off summer with "Get Georgia Reading Around Campfires" and all of the participating agencies for this worthwhile reading program.