BANGOR, MAINE (NEWS CENTER)--A group of retired generals are promoting a federal proposal enabling states to create, strengthen and expand high quality early education.

Tuesday three retired Maine generals read books to preschoolers in the library at the Downeast Elementary School in Bangor. It'spart of Mission Readiness, a program to get young people ready for the military.

Recruiters say three of four Americans between 17 and 24 aren't eligible for service because they are too poorly educated, are overweight, or have criminal records. They say programs like Pre-K will increase the number of high school graduates, save money and even increase national security.

Retired Major General Earl Adams said, "The objective of this program that the President is proposing over the next 10 years is to make Pre-K education available to every child that wants to be in a Pre-K program. And that would be just a tremendous achievement to improve our graduation rates and the economic advantage of it."

The generals are part of 350 retired admirals and generals nationally, including 27 in Maine, calling for smart investments in America's children.

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