First Lady Northam kicks off back to school tour

PEARISBURG, Va. (WDBJ) - Virginia's First Lady is touring our part of the Commonwealth this week to promote what she calls an important back to school initiative.

Today, Pamela Northam made a stop at the New River Community Action Head Start Center in Pearisburg, where she shared new books with students.

Pam Northam wants every child to have the tools they need to succeed in school.

"It's such a priority for the governor and myself, him as a pediatric neurologist and myself as an educator," Pam Northam said.

This week she's on what she calls a "back to school" tour, thanking teachers and delivering books and school supplies to children.

Pam Northam added, "We're here to uphold our early childhood community as well and bring awareness to the fact that every child really can succeed when they have the tools to do well in school."

Pam Northam says that school readiness actually begins before the kindergarten years, when around 90% of brain development occurs, and that's why she brought books to the children at the Head Start Center.

"We know books and reading to children is the beginning of literacy and we want to develop I think a love for life long learning," Sheryl Helm, the Director of Early Childhood and Family Services for New River and Community Action, said.

Virginia Delegate Chris Hurst and Chief School Readiness Officer Jenna Conway came along with Northam on Wednesday.

Pam Northam is visiting with children in early childhood education programs and elementary schools.

"It allows our parents to go to work, it allows people to go back to school, and it decreases abstinences from the workplace," Pam Northam said.

Pam Northam's tour pick backs up after Labor Day and runs through September 13th.