Many minority students consistently struggle academically;
one of the CORE areas is in reading, literacy and comprehension.
Steps have been put in place to evaluate, assess and implement
programs that help not just minority students but all students to
get on grade level and stay on grade level in reading.
The initiative to promote reading and raising literacy rates of
students in Duval County Public Schools is another program
directed at assisting students to read on grade level. Programs
implemented in a time of budgetary shortfalls when cuts are
being made to education is an important signal that no matter
the economic climate education is still a primary focus. The
emphasis on reading, literacy and comprehension cannot be
lacking of support. Reading, literacy and comprehension are
the foundations of educational success and cannot afford to be
cut back or cut down. Stated in Educationalgateway.com,
“Reading comprehension is probably the most important skill
that your child will learn. It is the skill that leads to success in
school and to the enriched life of the avid reader, 2006.”
Looking at the recent FCAT (Florida Assessment) scores
reading is proven to be fundamental to the academic success
of all children in all grade levels. This years FCAT scores show
slight differences in the percentages from last year.
Next year will be the beginning of FCAT 2.0
(http://fcat.fldoe.org/fcat2/) with tougher standards and higher
expectations for growth from students. DCPS students cannot
afford to be stagnant and mediocre in the importance of reading,
the level of competition for acceptance in higher education,
military service, vocational education and employment is tougher;
Competition is Increasing. Students and their families must
understand that an educated community thrives and prospers
even during economic downturns.
FCAT (Florida Schools) is just one indicator of academic growth;
the importance of data shows reading impacts all learning across
the board. Parents of primary students K thru 2nd should look at
their children’s FAIR (Florida Assessments for Instruction in
Reading) testing data that is collected through assessment (DCPS).
This is an indicator if the child is on grade level, reading
comprehension is sufficient and word recognition is on point.
This data is relevant to the students in K thru 2nd, their reading
levels in school and progress to FCAT starting in third grade.
FCAT Data: News 4 Jax: http://www.news4jax.com/education/28141355/detail.html
Just Read Florida – FAIR Assessment: http://www.justreadflorida.com/instrreading.asp
The “Read It Forward” campaign will involve partnerships citywide
with businesses, faith based entities and nonprofit organizations.
The goal is to teach children about the relevancy and importance of
reading. Research data shows children that consistently read on grade
level will be successful in school and have a higher probability of
graduating High School. This reading focus will impact K thru 12th
grades not just on specific grade levels, but encompassing all levels
and proficiencies. Important to the success of any academic program in
school is the training of teachers and support staff. The greatest support
mechanism comes from homes, the involvement of parents, guardians
and family members. When the student is not in school the home
environment is another piece of the educational support option. Parents
should support a reading library so that children can continue to see the
importance of reading at home; again stated in Educationalgateway.com,
”parents, can also make reading exciting by sharing their enthusiasm for
When a child sees their parents read they are encouraged and
excited, parents are their child’s first role models and support piece.
Commented on the importance of reading Mayor Elect Alvin Brown,
“We’ve got to make sure that our young people know how to read, I
think taking a holistic approach in the community, the business community,
civic community, the faith community, not-for-profits, all of us working
together, we’ll get to reach our goal.” Mayor Elect Brown understands the
importance of an educated community, citing several times during his campaign
data gained from JCCI studies on the growth and prosperity of a city and the
educational level of its citizens.
Read It Forward Jax will also utilize technology to assist in instruction, online
interactive reading sites and other technologies. Instead of just playing games,
accessing social media and social networks instructional components can be
easily accessed from home.
Focusing back on parents, encouraging their children to continue
to read and learn. E3 Business Group a growing partner with DCPS
is currently hosting a technology camp, the first of its kind; YAT
Youth Achievement in Technology Program, the focus is on
using technology to empower students where their skill are. Students
will have access to technologies that empower and increase reading
proficiency to exceed their expectations and bring about social,
academic and cognitive changes that will help them succeed in school.
More information can be gathered at 904-683-0143 or
Anthony Butler, Sr. (Accuse Yourself of Success) has been involved in
many aspects of education in mentorships, partnerships and sponsorships
within the community. He applauds DCPS in striving to educate students
who one day as entrepreneurs and business owners contribute to the
economic growth of Jacksonville.
As a teacher within the DCPS system, member of E3,
JCCI Forward Executive Board and Blogger, academic measures
during the school year have taken place that empower,
encourage and reinforce the importance of reading. Even TEAM UP
programs, Boys and Girls Clubs, The Bridge of Northeast Florida and
others have been involved in supporting reading. Summer time is the
opportunity for parents to take more responsible actions with their
children continue the enjoyment of reading for the whole family.
Don’t waste time on just video games, accessing social media and wasteful
play time. Parents make a responsible pledge and get your children reading
and involved. If parents do not take the lead in helping their children to
read, empower their children with literacy and comprehension more schools
like (within DCPS) Northshore, Raines, Ribault and Jackson will be
threatened with closure, sanctions and academic stagnation.