Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning

Celebrating Georgia's Pre-K Program:
A Million Dreams...and Counting

"A Million Starts with Me!" is now available for purchase!
Book Cover Image

Award-winning author John Archambault wrote a special book to commemorate Georgia's Pre-K Program's milestone of service to one million children. Eighty-four thousand children enrolled this school year in Georgia's Pre-K will receive a copy of the book.

This story is a celebration of individuality, possibilities and hope for the future – a million starts with each of us! Written by John Archambault, acclaimed author of “Chicka Chicka Boom Boom” with music by David Plummer.

For more information about the book or to purchase a copy, click here to view the flyer and order form.

Celebrating Georgia's Pre-K Program: A Million Dreams...and Counting
Complimentary Image

Bright from the Start: Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning hosted a grand finale of the Millionth Child Celebration at the State Capitol. This capped a year-long commemoration of Georgia's Pre-K Program serving one million children. Governor Sonny and First Lady Mary Perdue presented a check to Canine Assistants® the recipient of funds collected for the Million Penny Challenge! Mrs. Perdue read this very special poem to the audience:

Two Million Pennies
            Two million pennies – who would believe
            That so many would join in this campaign and give?
            Two million pennies can do quite a lot
            And in this case, bring hope to a family who's got
            Some real struggles to deal with on a daily basis –
            A child or adult who needs help going places
            Or doing the things other folks take in stride –
            Picking up pencils, swinging doors wide.
            Do you think a dog could make the difference...
            Enabling a child to find the deliverance
            They seek from dependence on others each day...
            Giving love and assistance in a canine way?
            Of course, dogs can do this! We know they're the best
            With intellect, loyalty, and all of the rest
            That makes life abundant and free from distress.
            Canine Assistants have passed every test.
            We're thrilled to be able to sponsor a pup
            Giving a child a helpful hand up
            To become more equipped to reach their potential –
            Canine Assistants — we think you’re quite special!

During the celebration, Pre-K children from the Child Development Center at Central Presbyterian sang songs for the audience. Commissioner Holly Robinson also read excerpts from “A Million Starts with Me,” a book by famed author John Archambault that was written especially for the Millionth Child Celebration.

During the past year, readers diligently logged in the books they read to children across the state. More than one million books were logged in for the Million Book Campaign!

Generous partners of the Celebration include the Georgia Lottery Corporation, School Specialty, SunTrust Bank, Georgia Public Broadcasting, Junior League, Staples, Scholastic and the Pearson Foundation.

Bright from the Start wishes to thank everyone for helping make the Million Child Celebration a success!

Millionth Child Spotlight
Bright from the Start congratulates winners of the TEACHER CHALLENGE:
  • Week #1: Susan Loper at Poplar Road Elementary in Sharpsburg. To view her Millionth Child Celebration Activity, click here.
  • Week #2: Katrina Kingsley at Gilmer County Head Start/Pre-K Center in Ellijay
  • Week #3: Beverly Wiggins & Shana Kinnard at Roopville Elementary in Roopville
  • Week #4: Katherine Bragg & Ms. Morgan at Children's Academy of Hickory Flat in Canton
  • Week #5: Melissa Greathouse at Lindsey Elementary in Warner Robins
  • Week #6: Lisa Wilkes at Murray County Pre-K Center in Chatsworth
  • Week #7: Georgiana Jackson at Southside Two Academy in Atlanta
  • Week #8: Karen Jones at Tolbert Elementary School in Resaca
  • Week # 9: Charmane Joiner at Sunshine House #8 in Evans
  • Week #10: Kristen Welch at Kids R Kids #48 in Duluth
  • Week #11: Jessica Lindsey & Lyn Seifert at Richmond Hill Montessori in Richmond Hill
  • Week #12: Josclyn Giles & Rachel Jones at Rebecca Blaylock Child Development Center in Rome
Bright from the Start was pleased to award reading prizes to the following centers/schools:
  • Hand-In-Hand Primary School in Thomasville
  • The Friendship House in Dalton
  • Jenkins County Elementary in Millen
  • Ithica Elementary in Villa Rica
  • Akers Academy in Cumming
  • Seminole County Elementary in Donalsonville
  • Futral Road Elementary in Griffin
  • The Sunshine House #74 in Snellville
  • Mt. Zion Elementary in Mt. ZionM
  • Roopville Elementary in Roopville
  • Learning Tree Academy in Toccoa
  • Bowdon Elementary in Bowdon
  • Macon County Elementary in Oglethorpe
Millionth Child News
  • Special Book Preview at Zoo Atlanta — Georgia First Lady Mary Perdue previewed a special book written by award-winning children’s author John Archambault to 140 Pre-K children at Zoo Atlanta. To commemorate Georgia’s Pre-K Program serving one million children, Mr. Archambault penned an exclusive book titled, A Million Starts with Me.
  • Georgia Lottery Celebrates the Millionth Child — In conjunction with Georgia's Pre-K Program serving its Millionth Child, Georgia Lottery Corporation has produced a commercial in honor of this milestone.
  • Read More Program — Be sure to visit the Georgia Department of Education's website to learn more about the Georgia Read More Program.
  • Georgia’s Pre-K Program serves one million children — The location of the Millionth Child currently being served by Georgia’s Pre-K Program has been revealed. The millionth child walked through the doors of Sumter County Primary School in Americus, Georgia! Governor Sonny and Mrs. Mary Perdue will kick off a special celebration at the school on Thursday, February 18.
  • Book Artwork — Thanks to all the children who submitted artwork to be considered for inclusion in the Georgia's Pre-K Millionth Child Celebration Book. View the artwork of our chosen finalists.
  • Reading Under the Stars — First Lady Mary Perdue hosted "Reading Under the Stars" at the Governor's mansion. Georgia's Pre-K students and their families attended the event featuring a live reading in the mansion garden of Bedtime in the Jungle by John Butler.
  • A Million Dreams and Counting... — First Lady Mary Perdue and Commissioner Holly A. Robinson appear on the Good Day Atlanta Show to discuss this campaign and the importance of early language and literacy.
  • Georgia Junior Leagues to read for one million minutes — Georgia Junior Leagues is participating in a new initiative called "The Million Minute Read" to promote literacy and school readiness in Georgia.
Millionth Child Partners

Bright from the Start would like to thank our Partners:

Georgia Lottery Staples Sun Trust Child Care Education Institute Discount School Supply ETA Cuisenaire

Georgia Birth to Five Coalition Georgia Public Broadcasting Georgia Public Library Service HATCH Kaplan Lakeshore

North Highland Pearson Scholastic School Speciality Alpha Skills Pure Fun - Better for Kids

Barnes & Noble USDA Food and Nutrition Services Voices for Georgia's Children The Junior Leagues of Georgia - Woment Building Better Communities Volunteer USA

Zoo Atlanta Pearson Foundation Dollar General Literacy Foundation Constructive Playthings

About Georgia’s Pre-K Program: Georgia’s Pre-K Program is a lottery funded educational program for Georgia’s four year olds to prepare children for school success. The program will serve 82,000 children in the 2009-10 school year. This nationally recognized program emphasizes high quality learning experiences for all children.

For more information about the Millionth Child Campaign, please contact Bright from the Start’s Public Relations Unit at 404-656-5957.