Literacy Alliance

First 2000 Days

Why are the first 2,000 days so critical?

There are only 2,000 days between the time a baby is born and when he or she will begin kindergarten.

presi-elements-colorrev-22During that time, brain architecture is forming.

The brain is not fully developed at birth. The basic architecture of the brain forms during a child’s early years.

We aren’t born with the skills that enable us to control impulses, make plans, and stay focused.

Learn More

Join the First 2000 Days Movement!


Our Fans commit to receiving and sharing campaign updates and early childhood updates.

  • Share information about the First 2000 Days on their social media or via email
  • “Like” or share a post about the First 2000 Days
  • Subscribe to the GEEARS email list to get updates on the campaign


Our Supporters make a small commitment that leads to a large impact by donating to and uplifting organizations supporting quality early childhood in Georgia.

  • Subscribe to the GEEARS email list to get updates on the campaign
  • Add your name to our list of Supporters who pledge to spread knowledge and passion for early education
  • Donate to an organization supporting quality early childhood in Georgia


Our Advocates pledge to serve as advocacy leaders for quality early childhood in Georgia.

  • Add their name to our list of Advocates who pledge to advocate for quality early childhood in Georgia
  • Purchase and wear a 2,000 Days shirt in order to spark dialogue – receive a free First 2000 Days pin withyour purchase
  • Contact legislators about early childhood issues when asked
  • Engage in informal discussions with their network
  • Sign up as a Georgia First 2000 Days volunteer for partner organizations
  • Attend First 2000 Days Campaign Leader events in their community


Our Champions play key roles in community outreach. They are trained to give the First 2000 Days presentation, suggest opportunities to give presentations and are presenters themselves. These community influencers carry the First 2000 Days message with them in their professional and personal life.

  • Submit a photo + quote or video clip about the importance of the first 2,000 days of a child’s life that will be shared online or in print
  • Share campaign updates via email, social media, and in person
  • Present the First 2000 Days PowerPoint and/or Video to businesses, organizations, or community groups
  • Commit to engage in informal conversations with their network about the First 2000 Days campaign
  • Encourage those in their network to donate to early childhood efforts
  • Wear their First 2,000 Days lapel pin to events

Campaign Leader (Partner):

Our Campaign Leaders commit their organization to integrate the message of the importance of early childhood development into their work, goals, strategies, and events. While the promise is strong, the actions can be simple.

  • Add the First 2000 Days web button to your website
  • Include prepared early childhood facts in your organization’s newsletter
  • Present the campaign video and presentation to board and staff members
  • Share pre-drafted campaign posts on your organization’s social media and newsletterswhen asked
  • Incorporate early childhood into your organization’s strategies
  • Invite other organizations to become Campaign Leaders


GEEARS First 2000 Days Homepage

Video: Thank you, Dictionary Project!

Video: Thank you Mrs. Miller

Trivia Bee 2019 Date

Trivia Bee is the Literacy Alliance’s signature annual fundraising event. It offers an opportunity to celebrate our successes and allow the community to learn more about our purpose and programs. At the event, teams compete in a trivia contest to benefit the Literacy Alliance, complete with costumes and team themes. We host a silent auction, and give wacky awards to the most successful and creative trivia teams.

Learn more about Trivia Bee here.

The 2019 Trivia Bee will be held on Tuesday, February 26. Mark your calendars!

Want to be notified as soon as tickets are available for sale? Sign up here to be added to our notification list:


Volunteer Newsletter: June 2018

Click here to read our June 2018 newsletter. It has information about summer literacy, reading buddy orientation, and the Dictionary Project.

Read our past newsletters:

First 2000 Days Campaign

GEEARS, Georgia Early Education Alliance for Ready Students, is promoting their “First 2000 Days” campaign. There are only 2000 days from birth to kindergarten, and these days are some of the most crucial for a child’s development. Their brains are rapidly growing, and can either become a strong or a weak foundation for future learning. We urge all new parents to learn more about the First 2000 Days campaign here.

Avoid the summer slide!

Keep your child reading throughout the summer! Here is the Muscogee County School District suggested reading list:

Grades K-2

A Beetle is Shy by Dianna Aston
Are We There Yet? By Dan Santat
Best in Snow by April Sayre
Big Cat by Ethan Long
Big Friends by Linda Sarah
Bug Zoo by Andy Harkness
Cat in the Night by Madeleine Dunphy
Cat on the Bus by Aram Kim
Daniel Finds a Poem by Micha Archer
Dear Dragon: A Pen Pal Tale by Josh Funk
Don’t Wake Up the Tiger by Britta Teckentrup
Douglas, You Need Glasses! by Ged Adamson
Emma and Julia Love Ballet by Barbara McClintock
Frankencrayon by Michael Hall
Frank and Lucky Get Schooled by Lynne Perkins
Go to Sleep, Monster! By Kevin Cornell
The Grumpy Pets by Kristine Lombardi
Hector and Hummingbird by Nicholas Frith
If you Ever Want to Bring a Piano to the Beach, Don’t! by Elise Parsley
It’s Not Easy Being Number Three by Drew Dernavich
King Baby by Kate Beaton
Madeline Finn and the Library Dog by Lisa Papp
Maxi the Little Taxi by Elizabeth Upton
Mighty Truck by Chris Barton
NanoBots by Chris Gall
Never Follow a Dinosaur by Alex Latimer
Ninja Bunny: Sister vs. Brother by Jennifer Olson
101 Reasons Why I’m Not Taking a Bath by Stacy McAnulty
Over on the Farm by Marianne Berkes
Panda Pants by Jacqueline Davies
Peep and Egg: I’m Not Hatching by Laura Gehl
Prissy & Pop: Big Day Out by Melissa Nicholson
Rules of the House by Mac Barnett
A Squiggly Story by Andrew Larsen
The Night Gardener by Terry Fan and Eric Fan
The Thank You Book by Mo Willems
This is My Book! By Mark Pett
The Water Princess by Susan Verde
When Spring Comes by Kevin Henkes
Where My Feet Go by Birgitta Sif
Whose Hands are These? A Community Helper Guessing Book by Miranda Paul
Woodpecker Wants a Waffle by Steve Breen
You Are Not a Cat! By Sharon Flake

Grades 3-4

After a While Crocodile: Alexa’s Diary by Brady Barr and Jennifer Curtis
Animals by the Numbers: A Book of Animal Infographics by Steve Jenkins
The Ant and the Grasshopper by Carl Sommer
Bad Kitty Goes to the Vet by Nick Bruel
A Child of Books by Oliver Jeffers and Sam Winston
Cook Me a Story: A Treasury of Stories and Recipes Inspired by Classic Fairy Tales by Bryan Kozlowski
Counting Thyme by Melanie Conklin
Dog Man: From the Creator of Captain Underpants by Dav Pilkey
Duck on a Tractor by David Shannon
The Eagle and the Chickens by Carol Sommer
Excellent Ed by Stacy McAnulty
50 Things You Should Know About American Presidents by Tracey Kelly
The First Step: How One Girl Put Segregation on Trial by Susan Goodman
Fortune Falls by Jenny Goebel
Ghosts by Raina Telgemeier
Groovy Joe: Ice Cream and Dinosaurs by Eric Litwin
The Hole Story of the Doughnut by Pat Miller
Just My Luck by Cammie McGovern
The Kid from Diamond Street: The Extraordinary Story of Baseball Legend Edith Houghton by Audrey Vernick
Maxi’s Secrets (Or What You Can Learn From a Dog) by Lynn Plourde
Meet the Boss and Tweets by Pepper Springfield
My Dog’s a Chicken by Susan Montanari
Nadia: The Girl Who Couldn’t Sit Still by Karlin Gray
Never Insult a Killer Zucchini by Elana Azose and Brandon Amancio
Noodlehead Nightmares by Tedd Arnold, Martha Hamilton and Mitch Weiss
Odell Bechham Jr. by K.C. Kelley
Once Upon an Elephant by Linda Stanek
The Poet’s Dog by Patricia MacLachlan
Poptropica: Mystery of the Map by Jack Chabert
Seven and a Half Tons of Steel by Janet Nolan
Some Writer! The Story of E.B. White by Melissa Sweet
Superhero Instruction Manual by Kristy Dempsey
Terror in the Underground Tunnel by Dee Phillips
This is My Dollhouse by Giselle Potter
The Ugly Princess by Carl Sommer
Tru & Nelle by G. Neri
Under Water, Under Earth by Aleksandra Mizielinska and Daniel Mizielinski
Whoosh! Lonnie Johnson’s Super-Soaking Stream of Inventions by Chris Barton
Who Wants a Tortoise? By Dave Keane
The Wish Tree by Kyo Maclear
Wolf Camp by Andrea Zuill

Grades 5-6

Animals by the Numbers: A Book of Animal Infographics by Steve Jenkins
Booked by Kwame Alexander
City Atlas:Travel the World with 30 City Maps by Georgia Cherry
Cook Me a Story: A Treasury of Stories and Recipes Inspired by Classic Fairy Tales by Bryan Kozlowski
Counting Thyme by Melanie Conklin
Curse of the Boggin by D.J. MacHale
Dead Possums are Fair Game by Taryn Souders
Dog Like Daisy by Kristin Tubb
A Dragon’s Guide to Making your Human Smarter by Laurence Yep and Joanne Ryder
End of the Wild by Nicole Helget
The Extincts by Veronica Cossanteli
Far from Fair by Elana Arnold
50 Things You Should Know About American Presidents by Tracey Kelly
The First Step: How One Girl Put Segregation on Trial by Susan Goodman
Fred Korematsu Speaks Up by Laura Atkins
Fuzzy by Tom Angleberger and Paul Dellinger
Garvey’s Choice by Nikki Grimes
Girls’ Night In: Four Friends Reveal the Secrets of the Ultimate Girls’ Night In! by Gemma Barder
Gorillas Up Close by Christena Nippert-Eng
Hilo Book 2: Saving the Whole Wide World by Judd Winick
How Lunchbox Jones Saved Me from Robots, Traitors, and Missy the Cruel by Jennifer Brown
The Inn Between by Marina Cohen
Jubilee by Patricia Giff
Just Like Me by Nancy Cavanaugh
The Last Fifth Grade of Emerson Elementary by Laura Shovan
Lazy Crafternoon by Stella Fields
Lucy & Andy Neanderthal by Jeffrey Brown
Maker Lab: 28 Super Cool Projects: Build-Invent-Creat-Discover by Jack Challoner
Many Worlds of Albie Bright by Christopher Edge
Marvel: Absolutely Everything You Need to Know by Adam Bray, Lorraine Cink and John Sazaklis
Matylda, Bright and Tender by Holly McGhee
Maxi’s Secrets by Lynn Plourde
The Misadventures of Max Crumbly, Book 1: Locker Hero by Rachel Russell
Mr. Lemoncello’s Library Olympics by Chris Grabenstein
Pete Milano’s Guide to Being a Movie Star by Tommy Greenwald
Quest to the Uncharted Lands by Jaleigh Johnson
The Rat Prince by Bridget Hodder
Red’s Planet by Eddie Pittman
Red: The True Story of Red Riding Hood by Liesl Shurtliff
Seven and a Half Tons of Steel by Janet Nolan
Some Writer! The Story of E.B. White by Melissa Sweet
Soar by Joan Bauer
Stef Soto, Taco Queen by Jennifer Torres
Sunborn Rising: Beneath the Fall by Aaron Safronoff
Superheroes Don’t Eat Veggie Burgers by Gretchen Kelley
The Terrible Two Get Worse by Mac Barnett and Jory John
Terror at Bottle Creek by Watt Key
The Trouble with Twins by Kathryn Siebel
Tru & Nelle by G. Neri
Under Water, Under Earth by Aleksandra Mizielinska and Daniel Mizielinski
Van Gogh Deception by Deron Hicks
Wet Cement: A Mix of Concrete Poems by Bob Raczka
When Mischief Came to Town by Katrina Nannestad


It’s All About Words

MCSD children have been using their artistic skills to support literacy through this special event for eleven years.

They are given a canvas with the following instructions:

  1. Pick a favorite word or phrase
  2. Paint the canvas to express that word or phrase

These works of art are displayed in the Columbus Public Library for the month of November to help promote the importance of children having a strong vocabulary. There is a contest for the canvases, not for artistic talent, but for those best expressing the student’s interpretation of the word(s).

We hope to fill the wall with these beautiful pieces. We will accept more than one piece from a school. One canvas is provided. Additional canvases will be available while they last.

Artwork will be displayed the month of November in the Aflac Children’s Library 3000 Macon Rd

  • Dates:
    • Oct 19 – Artwork and permission slips to Arts and Humanities office
    • Nov 6 – Reception at 5:15 with Art / 5:30 pm in the Auditorium at the Library
    • Nov 30 – Canvases may be picked from the Library
  • If you wish to have more than one student participate please let us know.
  • We are happy to post an “Artist’s Statement” if one is emailed to us.
  • Pieces are not judged solely on artistic skills. We look at how the image content reflects the word or phrase selected by the student.


Please click here to fill out our form!

For Teachers

Please click here and mark your school if you’re participating. (There’s no action needed if your school is already marked.)


Early Childhood Education in Georgia featuring GEEARS

Check out this great video by GEEARS: Georgia Early Education Alliance for Ready Students. To learn more, visit

WRBL Book Drive March 2018

This past March, WRBL held its book drive to benefit Literacy Alliance and Muscogee County Friends of the Library. This is an important time for us to not only bring in new books, but volunteers as well. We can’t do our great work without your help. Special thanks to WRBL, Bob Jeswald, and Dave Hart for their tremendous support!

Watch: Literacy Campaign 2018-Strengthening our community through reading daily