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Pre-K Classes in Athens and Dallas win Coy Bowles Classroom Contest

Grammy Winning Guitarist and Author from Zac Brown Band will visit schools to read his new children’s book “Behind the Little Red Door”

Childcare Network 533Grammy-award winning Guitarist Coy Bowles’ next performance won’t be with the Zac Brown Band in one of its usual concert venues, but in small Georgia Pre-K classrooms in Athens and Dallas. Bright from the Start: Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning (DECAL) has announced that classes at Timothy Elementary School and Childcare Network #309 are the winners in a classroom contest promoting Bowles’ new children’s book. DECAL partnered with Bowles to publish the book “Behind the Little Red Door” as part of this year’s celebration of the 25th birthday of Georgia’s Pre-K Program.
The contest asked Pre-K classes to demonstrate what they think is behind the little red door through a variety of video and art projects. Close to 200 entries were received. Ms. Emily Paxson’s class at Timothy Elementary School won the video contest and Ms. Leigh Chauvin’s class at Childcare Network #309 won the art project contest. Both winning entries have been posted on the Bright from the Start Facebook page.
As winners of the contest, both schools will receive a special visit from Bowles and DECAL’s official “spokes puppy” CALi to read the new book in person. As part of the 25th birthday celebration, all Georgia Pre-K students will receive a free copy of the book “Behind the Little Red Door,” along with a copy for their classroom. The book is also available for purchase at www.coybowles.com.
This school year approximately 84,000 four-year-olds attend Georgia’s Pre-K Program. The voluntary, lottery-funded Pre-K program has been recognized as one of the top programs in the nation, based on quality standards, teacher qualifications, and enrollment. Georgia’s Pre-K Program is universal – meaning that any age eligible child residing in Georgia may attend the program regardless of family income. Georgia’s model for providing the Pre-K program is unique in that it is offered through a public-private partnership in local school systems, in private child care centers, and in other facilities.Childcare Network 600

About Bright from the Start
Bright from the Start: Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning is responsible for meeting the child care and early education needs of Georgia’s children and their families. It administers the nationally recognized Georgia’s Pre-K Program, licenses child care centers and home-based child care, administers Georgia's Childcare and Parent Services (CAPS) program, federal nutrition programs, and manages Quality Rated, Georgia’s community-powered child care rating system. The department also houses the Head Start State Collaboration Office, distributes federal funding to enhance the quality and availability of childcare, and works collaboratively with Georgia child care resource and referral agencies and organizations throughout the state to enhance early care and education. For more information, go to www.decal.ga.gov.

Childcare Network 800Coy Bowles of The Zac Brown Band at Childcare Network #309 on Cedarcrest Road.He spent time with us playing his guitar, reading his book and having a snack with our class. Pictured behind the students are from left to right: Cheri Pittman, CNI Acquisition Supervisor Pattie Smith, CNI Vice President of New School Operations Barbara Woods, CNI GA PreK Project Director Amy Jacobs, Commissioner of GA PreK Coy Bowles, Author of Behind The Little Red Door Jessica Meyer, Assistant GA PreK Teacher Leigh Chauvin, Lead GA PreK Teacher Natalie Thomason, Director CNI 309 Michelle Ladner, Assistant Director CNI 309