COLUMBUS, Ga. (AP) - Parents in west Georgia and east Alabama now have a new resource to help their babies and toddlers learn before they enter school.

The Columbus Ledger-Enquirer reports that a new program being offered is the first of its kind in both states.

More than 150 community leaders and education officials gathered recently at Columbus State University to launch "The Basics Chattahoochee Valley."

It's the local version of an awareness campaign that began in Boston four years ago. Since then, it has spread to about 30 communities across the nation.

Columbus 2025, a five-year strategic plan created by local community leaders, is bringing "The Basics" to the west Georgia city to address one of its five goals: developing more talented and educated people.

Information from: Columbus Ledger-Enquirer,

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