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Innovation Video Series Episode 2 — Find Your Voice


Comer Yates, executive director of the Atlanta Speech School, lends his own uniquely powerful voice to the chorus of leaders, parents, and educators working to get all kids in Georgia on the path to reading proficiency by 2020. He tells how we can close the word gap between affluent kids and those born into generational poverty by opening hearts, as well as minds.

What does the power of language look like?

It’s a classroom full of 4th graders who are receiving free and reduced-price lunches—and reading above grade level.

It’s the surprise of an experienced kindergarten teacher who receives a new class that already knows much of what she’s been teaching for the past 25 years before the school year even begins.

These are just a couple examples of how Comer Yates, executive director of the Atlanta Speech School, defines the power of language in action. He says children at the Atlanta Speech School—where no child is turned away due to his or her family’s inability to pay—are encouraged to raise their voices and recognize their innate talents and abilities.

Comer lends his own uniquely powerful voice to the chorus of leaders, parents and educators working to get all kids in Georgia on the path to reading proficiency by 2020. He tells how we can close the word gap between affluent kids and those born into generational poverty by opening hearts, as well as minds.

Check back with our blog every first and third Friday of the month for the latest episode from the Get Georgia Reading Innovation Forum, leading up to Innovation Summit II this fall.

Watch Episode 1—Closing the Book on Low-Reading Proficiency in Georgia, featuring Gail Hayes, director of the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s Atlanta Civic Site from 2004 to 2013.