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Groundbreaking Partnership Trains Multilingual High Schoolers to Promote Early Childhood Literacy

Preface, Berkmar High School, and Lilburn Elementary School jointly announced the launch of an innovative multilingual initiative to foster early childhood literacy in Gwinnett County. (L-R) Preface Expert Advisor Dr. Wandy Taylor, Lilburn Elementary School Principal Dr. Guerlene Merisme, Preface Founder & Executive Director Jonathan "JT" Wu, and Berkmar High School Assistant Principal Cindy Moffett


Preface, Berkmar High School, and Lilburn Elementary School jointly announce a unique multilingual public-private initiative to enhance literacy rates among Gwinnett’s elementary school students.

GWINNETT COUNTY, GA. – Gwinnett County teachers have another ally – and a unique educational resource – to add to their toolkits this coming fall. On October 28, Berkmar High School and Lilburn Elementary School officially launched an innovative partnership with Preface, a nonprofit whose first-of-its-kind multilingual pilot initiative supports educators’ efforts to bolster literacy in their classrooms.

Putting a spin on time-tested mentorship models, this innovative Georgia-grown program trains bilingual high school volunteers, aptly dubbed “Preface Ambassadors,” in best-in-class educational techniques – then pairs them up with “ESOL” (English as a Second or Other Language) children to help reinforce classroom concepts and improve reading comprehension.

Every day after school, these dedicated high schoolers head over to Lilburn Elementary to read to, play with, and mentor young children – both in English and in the primary language their families may speak at home. It’s a program that taps into the language abilities of Gwinnett’s diverse student population – while also equipping the next generation with the skills they need to learn and thrive in a primarily English-speaking environment.

“Growing up as a child of immigrants right here in Gwinnett, I experienced firsthand the transformative opportunities that access to educational supports can provide,” said Jonathan “JT” Wu, Founder & Executive Director of Preface. “Especially here in one of the most diverse and fastest growing counties in the nation, we’re thrilled to partner with some of Gwinnett’s finest educational leaders to direct our community’s innate talents towards making sure that all children have the opportunity to realize their American Dreams.”

With recent statistics indicating that 57% of children in Gwinnett County still struggle to read English proficiently by the 3rd grade, Preface hopes to prove that making connections – both personally and linguistically – can help Gwinnett’s next generation stay on the road to success. Alongside trailblazing partners at Berkmar High School and Lilburn Elementary School, Preface looks poised to make an impact on literacy rates and early education paradigms – one child at a time.

About Preface:

Founded in 2019, Preface is a public-private philanthropic initiative dedicated to fostering early childhood literacy… with a multilingual twist! Partnering with educators and community leaders, Preface empowers local high schoolers to give back to their communities and bridge opportunity gaps by fostering literacy among young ESOL students. A federally recognized 501(c)(3) organization, Preface is proudly headquartered in Gwinnett County, Georgia. Learn more at

For further inquiries, contact:

Jonathan “JT” Wu

Founder & Executive Director

Devon Naftzger

Chief Marketing Officer




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