Her Read Across Georgia initiative brought Georgia's First Lady Sandra Deal to Cartersville and Bartow County on Thursday for visits to local schools and an education center.
The campaign supports Gov. Nathan Deal's goal of increasing the number of third-graders in the state reading at grade level.
"Nathan and I both feel like reading is key for the advancement of young people and that's what we feel we have to encourage," the governor's wife told The Daily Tribune News.
Sandra Deal, along with state schools Superintendent John Barge, are visiting schools across the state to read to students. Her goal is to visit all 180 school districts in the state over the next three years.
The governor announced in his State of the State address in January that reading will be a focus of his administration.
In addition to several local schools—including Cartersville Primary, Cartersville Elementary, Cartersville Middle, Hamilton Crossing Elementary and Cass High—Deal and Barge, a former Bartow Schools administrator, visited the GED program at Summer Hill, one of six GED prep locations operated by Chattahoochee Technical College.
More than 500 students attend Summer Hill Learning Center through the college's Adult Education program, according to the college. More than 50 percent of those seeking GEDs are women and more than 55 percent are unemployed.
Jon Collins, the executive director of Adult Education, said the typical student at that facility is a female in her mid 30s who has returned to get her GED after realizing she is unable to help her child or children with homework.
—Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.