Early Childhood Education
Since its founding in 1916, the Junior League of Atlanta, Inc. (JLA) has long been a leader in promoting and strengthening the early education of Atlanta’s children. In 1938, for example, the JLA founded the Atlanta Speech School, the most comprehensive center for language and literacy in the United States, and in 1986 established the Atlanta Children’s Shelter, which provides an educational curriculum for homeless children, among many other areas of support. In 2013, the JLA selected early childhood education as its first concentration in its strategic Issue-Based Community Impact (IBCI) model. In addition to continuing to collaborate with JLA partners in early childhood education (for a full list of JLA partners, click here) and to advocate for legislation that improves early education outcomes, the JLA today also supports several initiatives to improve the education of Atlanta’s children. Journey to Literacy, created by the JLA in 2009, distributes hundreds of books each year to families visiting public libraries in targeted areas of Atlanta, as well as to children supported by JLA partners. Journey to Literacy also works to engage children and families in activities that enhance the experience of each story. The JLA additionally sits on a number of regional coalitions in Atlanta that focus on early childhood education, including the Georgia Infant-Toddler Coalition and Promise All Atlanta Children Thrive (PAACT), both administered by JLA partner GEEARS (Georgia Early Education Alliance for Ready Students), and Learn4Life.