"As my mother always told me, "Education is one thing that no one can ever take away from you,"” Peggy Downing said.
Former Superintendent Peggy Downing started Seminole County's pre-k program in 1993.
"I just believe that pre-k is the foundation children need to get started both academically and developmentally,” Downing said.
To celebrate the 20th anniversary and Pre-k Week, Donalsonville community members came out to read stories to the kids.
"Today I'm reading "Grandpa's Slippers," and it could be about me because I like what I wear and I wear it until I wear it out," Mayor Joe Burke said.
“I'm reading a difficult book called “Henny Penny.” It has a lot of riddles and a lot of rhymes that I think the kids will enjoy. It's going to be a task for me to read it all and keep a straight face,” Physical Therapy Director Jamaca Coachman said.
These community members believe reading is key for the next generation.
"With reading you grasp your own concepts," Coachman said.
Concepts and memories.
"When I read silver chief dog of the north, I could see the royal mounted policeman and his wolf dog that he had, I could see the black stallion and him racing across the Sahara Desert," Burke said.
These community members see reading as a developmental building block.
"Television sometimes does not create that imagination, because you have to create a mental picture of what you're reading about," Burke said.
"If you start a child young with reading, they'll continue reading," Downing said.
The state lottery funds Georgia's pre-k programs.