For Dr. Marvin Henderson, director of Florida A&M's developmental research school, FCAT performance is a top priority. That's why he relies heavily on mentors.
"The harvest is great, but the laborers are few and we really need as many involved in this effort as possible, says Henderson.
Friday, students with the university launched an effort to mentor and tutor students countywide with a special mission to improve FCAT scores.
“I think that it is a shame that FAMU DRS is right next door and we aren't able to help them as well as we can, so this initiative is a way for us to do some good hands-on work," says FAMU student Jilliam Jones.
Studies show in Florida only 25 percent of all third through tenth graders are reading at level one, which is down 33 percent from 2001.
Some feel the reason for the drop is partly academic. A suggestion that lower tests scores also come from lack of attention at home, coupled with peer pressure. This is where mentors come in.
FAMU student Monique Gillum says, "To help children that may or may not have that extra pushing at home, we are able to give them a big brother or big sister type of atmosphere."
Raven Robinson, a student with FAMU DRS, says, "Maybe I might run into some obstacles I may have in my life, and the mentors might be there to help me."
For those interested in becoming a mentor, simply contact your nearest school for more information.
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