For Immediate Release: September 7, 2018
Contacts: Office of the Governor: Ofirah Yheskel, Ofirah.Yheskel@governor.virginia.gov

First Lady Pamela Northam to Conclude Back to School Tour with Visits to the Valley, Northern Neck, Southside, Eastern Shore and Western Virginia

RICHMOND—As nearly 1.2 million Virginia students return school to begin a new academic year, First Lady Pamela Northam will celebrate by visiting early childhood education programs and elementary schools and discussing the importance of school readiness. The First Lady will continue delivering books and school supplies as she visits schools and learning centers in each of the Commonwealth’s eight Superintendent Regions. From September 10 through September 13, the First Lady’s Back to School tour will conclude with stops in the remaining five Superintendent regions.

“Many of us can still remember the excitement of getting that shiny new folder and new shoes for the first day of school, but school readiness actually starts in those important years before kindergarten, when around 90 percent of a child’s brain development occurs,” said First Lady Pamela Northam. “All Virginia children are capable of, and deserve to be, entering kindergarten with the tools they need to succeed. We are dedicated to unifying Virginia early education programs and providing access to quality care and education for children and families no matter who they are or where in the Commonwealth they live.”

The First Lady will be joined by Chief School Readiness Officer Jenna Conway, highlighting school readiness as an economic development issue across the Commonwealth. The First Lady and Jenna Conway will also speak with local stakeholders about the challenges and successes local communities are facing in improving school readiness.

“Today’s children are tomorrow’s workforce. Children who participate in high quality early care and education—whether in school, child care or Head Start—are more likely to succeed academically and socially in school, in the workforce and in life,” said Chief School Readiness Officer Jenna Conway. “Affordable child care also benefits the current workforce by enabling parents to work or complete school which is especially important when Virginia’s unemployment rate is at an all-time low.”

Roughly $500 million is invested in early childhood care and education in Virginia with additional resources available this year. More than $55 million in additional federal and state funding will help strengthen child care, Head Start, and the Virginia Preschool Initiative this year.

“Investing in high quality early education is one of the best ways to reduce the achievement gap among students in Virginia,” said Secretary of Education Atif Qarni.

“Teachers and leaders across the Commonwealth are excited to welcome children and families back to school,” said State Superintendent of Public Instruction Dr. James Lane. “Each year offers another opportunity to support all Virginia students, including our youngest learners, to build the knowledge, skills and attributes needed to be successful in school and beyond.”

Media interested in attending any of the following events are asked to RSVP to Marissa.Astor@governor.virginia.gov.

MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 10

8:00 AM

First Lady Pamela Northam to thank teachers at Accawmacke Elementary School
26230 Drummondtown Road
Accomac, Virginia 23301

9:30 AM

First Lady Pamela Northam to visit Eastern Shore Head Start
24429 Front Street
Accomac, Virginia 23301

12:00 PM

First Lady Pamela Northam to visit P.B. Young Sr. Elementary School
543 East Olney Road
Norfolk, Virginia 23510

1:30 PM

First Lady Pamela Northam to visit Mount Hermon Preschool Center
3000 North Street
Portsmouth, Virginia 23707

 

TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 11

9:00 AM

First Lady Pamela Northam to visit Cople Elementary School
7114 Cople Highway
Hague, Virginia 22469

10:30 AM

First Lady Pamela Northam to visit Washington District Elementary School
454 Oak Grove Road
Colonial Beach, Virginia 22443

12:00 PM

First Lady Pamela Northam to visit Tappahannock Elementary School
Elementary School Circle
Tappahannock, Virginia 22560

 

WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 12

8:30 AM

First Lady Pamela Northam to visit Northside Preschool
121 Gloucester Avenue
Danville, Virginia 24540

9:40 AM

First Lady Pamela Northam to visit Grove Park Preschool
1070 South Main Street
Danville, Virginia 24541

10:40 AM

First Lady Pamela Northam to visit Harvest Corner Child Kare Center
1333 Industrial Avenue
Danville, Virginia 24541

1:00 PM

First Lady Pamela Northam to visit Crewe Primary School
1953 Sunnyside Road
Crewe, Virginia 23930

 

THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 13

8:30 AM

First Lady Pamela Northam to participate in “Feed Virginia Day of Action” event at Smithland Elementary School
474 Linda Lane
Harrisonburg, Virginia 22802

9:30 AM

First Lady Pamela Northam to visit Elon Rhodes Early Learning Center at Smithland Elementary School
474 Linda Lane
Harrisonburg, Virginia 22802

10:15 AM

First Lady Pamela Northam to visit Stone Spring Elementary School
1575 Peach Grove Avenue
Harrisonburg, Virginia 22801

12:00 PM

First Lady Pamela Northam to visit Agnor-Hurt Elementary School
3201 Berkmar Drive
Charlottesville, Virginia 22901

1:00 PM

First Lady Pamela Northam to visit JABA Shining Star Preschool
674 Hillsdale Drive, Suite 9
Charlottesville, Virginia 22901

1:35 PM

First Lady Pamela Northam to visit Greenbrier Elementary School
2228 Greenbrier Drive
Charlottesville, Virginia 22901


The First Lady thanks the following organizations, whose kind donation of books and school supplies for this year’s Back to School Tour helped give students a great start to the new school year:

The Soho Center
BrandyLane Publishers, Inc.
Library of Virginia
Community Idea Stations and PBS Kids
Virginia State Employees
Virginia State Police Trainees

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