Photos by Rome City Schools - Katie Dempsey

In celebration of the 25-year anniversary of the Pre-K Program in Georgia, several classes of pre-k students at West Central Elementary were surprised by a visit from Georgia State Representative, Katie Dempsey.

Dempsey visited West Central on Tuesday, October 9 to host an interactive reading session with the pre-k students. The students roared with excitement when Dempsey pulled out two of her favorite books: “While You Were Sleeping” by John Butler and “Click Clack Moo: Cows That Type” by Doreen Cronin.

West Central student, Jackson Tidwell loved having Dempsey visit his classroom. “My favorite story was “Click Clack Moo,” especially when the chickens started typing, too. It was so much fun,” said Tidwell.

Once Dempsey finished her second book, all students applauded and then gathered around for a big group hug, Rep. Dempsey loves hugs, especially from Georgia’s pre-k students!

“This year has been a very important year because it is the 25th Anniversary for pre-k programs in Georgia,” explained Dempsey. “Legislators are asked to choose one school in our district to read to, but I have tried to make it a goal to read to all Georgia State certified pre-k programs. I absolutely love it!”

The Georgia lottery-funded pre-k program started in 1992 as a pilot program serving 750 children under then-Governor Zell Miller’s administration. It has since educated about 1.6 million children and what better way to celebrate this achievement than with visiting pre-k programs and reading to them.

West Central Principal, Daphne Johnson, said, “Our students always look forward to having outside visitors come in and read—they get so excited! They enjoy listening to stories and we are very fortunate to have Mrs. Dempsey come in and visit with our kids.”

Katie Dempsey and Jackson Tidwell