FCAT Mentors

Next month students in Florida will take the reading and math portions of the FCAT. Teachers at one local school are looking for mentors in hopes that students will do better on the test.

Jerry Weeks reads with ease and confidence. He says last year that was an impossible feat.

"I was in 3rd grade and I failed the FCAT in reading now that I've come here in (and) it's really helped me because I'm on the 4th grade reading level," says 4th grader Jerry Weeks

For the past few years mentors at Chattahoochee Elementary School have helped at risk students like Jerry sharpen their reading skills.

"A lot of times they're not able to get the help at home so if I'm able to help them a little bit here in school this is what's it's all about," says mentor Christell Williams.

School administrators held an open house Thursday in hopes of attracting more mentors, but so far only a few folks have answered the call.

"I've been involved with the school advisory council for 15 years at Sneads Elementary and I have grand kids in school. I think everyone should be involved with a kid," says new mentor Kenny Peacock.

Last year the elementary school received an "F" grade. This year they're hoping mentors and parents will help these students "kick the FCAT" and earn them a higher letter grade.

"We started four years ago where we had 80 percent of our students scoring Level one, which is the lowest level in reading. Last year we had only 35 percent scoring level one," says Chattahoochee Principal Marie Alday.

If you would like to be a mentor please call the school at 663-4373. Many schools in Tallahassee are looking for mentors too. Contact one near you.