Local News

May 3, 2013

Georgia first lady: Kids need a push to read

Children such as 5-year-old Carson Carrel of Eton Elementary School are eager to learn to read, said Sandra Deal, the wife of Gov. Nathan Deal. But without a push from adults some students could face a bleak future.

Carson isn’t worried, though.

“I read all kinds of books all the time,” he said, “because it’s fun.”

Carson is one of hundreds of children that Sandra Deal has read to as part of her Read Across Georgia tour. Deal stopped by Eton Elementary in Murray County and Roan School in Dalton Thursday morning. She visited Cohutta Elementary School on March 6. The tour is expected to end Friday after Deal has visited all 180 school districts in the state.

“Everywhere I go I see that our children are eager to learn,” she said. “All the children I’ve seen have been attentive. We can really inspire them to want to learn to read. I see the joy that reading can bring. They want to read. And we need them to be proficient readers by third grade.”

Third grade is a key turning point for most children, according to education researchers. Children reading on grade level by that grade are statistically better learners, citizens and family members.

Tyler Lee Gooslin, 5, probably doesn’t realize that. He probably also doesn’t recognize that knowing how to spell his name could also spell success in his educational and professional future. What he does know is the story Deal read to him — “Who I’d Like to Be” — was “really awesome.”

“My favorite part was the bumblebees,” he said of the several creatures the main character in the book pretends to be. “I like them because they can sting.”

But bumblebees are no match for Batman.

Tyler said his favorite thing to read when he goes home is “Batman: Year 100,” a four-issue comic series detailing Batman’s struggle to restore peace and freedom to Gotham City after it has fallen into a federal police state with little to no privacy laws. Perhaps it’s heavy reading for a 5-year-old, but it’s still reading.

“That’s the important thing,” Deal said. “These kids will read for information when they get older. School gets harder and they will need to be able to read and understand the material. Every child deserves the opportunity to graduate from high school. That’s our goal.”

Deal said services like the local Readers to Leaders initiative are important to the community. The initiative is a joint effort by community leaders and school officials in Whitfield County Schools and Dalton Public Schools to push all local children to read at grade level by the third grade.

“I think everyone can participate and show that they can read and help mentor children as volunteers,” Deal said of the programs within Readers to Leaders. “Anyone can read to children. Read to them in groups. Most children just need that encouragement. Parents are so busy working just to make a living. And we have TVs on all the time. The same for computers and phones. Parents really don’t talk to their children. Kids need that one-on-one time.”

Individual attention is vital to help ensure literacy, Deal said. Only then will children be ready for the future.

Text Only
Local News
  • Little library 1 mlh.jpg Little Libraries, big goal

    Whitfield County just received a new library.
    And better yet, 26 more are on the way to the region.

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • Picture 3.jpg Rock solid

    A great number of things have come and gone since 1974.
    One that hasn’t: a small Dalton school founded by parents wanting a unique learning environment for their children.

    July 27, 2014 2 Photos

  • Vann House Day '14 6 mlh.jpg History comes alive at Vann House

    SPRING PLACE — In the early 1800s, the 1,000-acre plantation belonging to Cherokee Indian leader James Vann was a bustling place.

    July 26, 2014 5 Photos

  • Local officials agree with Deal

    Regarding news last week that approximately 30 unaccompanied minors from Central America, who had crossed the southern border into the United States, were sent without warning to Dalton last year and enrolled in Dalton Public Schools, Republican politicians representing portions of Murray and Whitfield Counties agree — state and local school officials deserved to know in advance, they say.

    July 26, 2014

  • Former chamber location 2 mlh.jpg Plan could cut flooding, stormwater damage in Dalton

    On a recent day, McClellan Creek flowed gently through Harlan Godfrey Civitan Park. But some park goers who live near the area say that even a mild rain can turn the creek into a torrent that eats away at their property.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • Civil War anniversary: The Battle of Crow Valley, May 9-12, 1864

    The Atlanta Campaign began during the first two weeks of May 1864 in and around Dalton. Union Maj. Gen. William T. Sherman’s strategy was to target two of his armies, about 80,000 men, against Confederate Gen. Joseph E. Johnston’s Army of Tennessee at Dalton. Then, while Johnston’s attention was diverted by these forces, he would secretly send his third army, about 25,000 troops under Maj. Gen. James B. McPherson, in a flanking movement to the southwest through Snake Creek Gap. Sherman’s goal was to break Johnston’s railroad supply line some 15 miles south at Resaca and trap Johnston’s Confederates in Dalton.

    July 26, 2014

  • New church being  built mlh.jpg Church construction continues

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • Avans.jpg Three arrested in arson plot to claim insurance money

    Three people have been arrested for their role in a fire at a Chatsworth home as part of an insurance scam to collect money, officials said.

    July 25, 2014 3 Photos

  • Investigation into MFG chemical accident continues

    An investigation is still ongoing after a MFG Chemical employee was injured earlier this month at a plant on Kimberly Park Drive.

    July 25, 2014

  • Judge sets $100,000 bond for Cohutta man accused of incest, molestation

    A Cohutta man charged with incest, aggravated sodomy and child molestation was granted a $100,000 bond over the prosecutor’s objection on Friday.

    July 25, 2014