Founded in 2017 by the Governor’s office and state legislature, the mission of the Sandra Dunagan Deal Center for Early Language and Literacy is to improve the early language and literacy skills of Georgia’s children by providing research-based professional development for organizations working with children from birth through age 8.

The Deal Center’s mandate is to work in the birth-to-age-8 continuum to improve early language and literacy. Through an existing partnership with Bright from the Start: Department of Early Care and Learning (DECAL), the Deal Center focuses on increasing Language Nutrition in infant and toddler classrooms—and seeks to boost Language Nutrition for children ages 0-4 who aren’t in formal child care settings in collaboration with public libraries, Department of Public Health, hospitals, pediatricians and community health centers, home visiting programs, and community nonprofits.

The Deal Center impacts Teacher Preparation and Effectiveness through professional development for pre-service and in-service teachers that focuses on the science of reading—and how to put that into practice in the classroom. The Deal Center is also developing a model for working with schools and teachers to increase their capacity in early language and literacy.

The Summer Literacy Mini-Grant Initiative is one way the Deal Center promotes access to books and literacy activities during the crucial summer months. It uses the Campaign’s four pillars as a framework in the application process for Summer Literacy Mini-Grants as well as Early Language and Literacy Collective Impact Grants.  This compels communities applying for these grants to incorporate one or more of the four pillars in their planned literacy activities.

To learn more about the Deal Center, visit their website.