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Actress Jennifer Garner Gets The Ear Of Lawmakers

Josh James
Actress Jennifer Garner addresses the House Committee on Appropriations and Revenue

Actress Jennifer Garner testified before a House committee in Frankfort Tuesday on behalf of Save the Children, an organization with roots in Kentucky that stretch back to the Great Depression.

Credit Josh James / WUKY
A larger-than-usual crowd packs Committee Room 154, many for a glimpse of actress Jennifer Garner

Garner may be famous for her starring role on TV's Alias, but the unusually large crowd packed into Committee Room 154 Tuesday morning was no mystery. The actress was there to shine a Hollywood-sized spotlight on early childhood and literacy programs run by Save the Children in eight Kentucky counties - efforts she  maintained are yielding results.

In defending the programs, the native West Virginian cited her own experience growing up.

"Part of what made me so invested in this work that I do is coming from the state of West Virginia, where when I finished the first grade friends of mine stayed behind and when I finished third grade they were still in first grade and they disappeared and I never saw them again," she told the panel. "And I've always been aware of that injustice."

The Golden Globe winner also ate breakfast with Gov. Matt Bevin, who has criticized the track record of other early childhood programs like Head Start. Still, Save the Children's nearly $1 million dollars in annual state funds do not appear to be in the legislature's crosshairs.  

Tonight, Garner will take part in a panel discussion on early literacy at the Grand Theater in Frankfort.

Josh James fell in love with college radio at Western Kentucky University's student station, New Rock 92 (now Revolution 91.7). After working as a DJ and program director, he knew he wanted to come home to Lexington and try his hand in public radio.