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      Lawmakers laud local pre-k programs

      There was some wiggling and some dancing going on in Lee County Monday morning. Representative Ed Rynders spent his morning reading to Lee County pre-k students.

      Obviously when you can get into a young child's mind, they become sponges at such a young age and it's really the formative years and you get an opportunity for them to learn, says Rynders.

      Meanwhile Representative Winfred Dukes spent his morning in similar fashion at The Family Tree--the pre-kindergarten facility located on Fourth Avenue.

      Those things that we talk about in the legislature and those things that we fight for--it has a different meaning and a different relevance once we get an opportunity to actually, to come out and touch it and see it and feel it, says Dukes.

      Family Tree Director Beverly Waddell says coming to see the program on a local level helps lawmakers understand the benefits. And while it may not seem like much, what these children are doing is very beneficial.

      It just provides the opportunity for them to get socialization experience and those pre-readiness skills that they need for the rest of their schooling, says Lee County Pre-K Director, Jan Duke.

      Studies have shown pre-k is an integral part of a student's educational foundation. And Duke says if they miss out on that, they're missing out on a lot more than you realize.

      Students who are behind when they go to kindergarten have a difficult time ever catching up and studies show this extra time that they spend in pre-k provides what they need so that they will be more successful, says Duke.

      To learn more about Georgia Pre-K Week, click here.