Just Read Florida

Although school is out for the summer, several teachers are back in the classroom. It's part of the Florida Reading Initiative. Educators at a local high school say many students are having problems.

In this Feature at Five, we learn how teachers are being taught to teach reading.

Thanks to several initiatives, teachers say elementary school children are getting help in the area of reading.

Michelle Keltner, a Rickards High School reading teacher, says, “But we have a gap. We need to help with comprehension and I hate to say it but pass the FCAT, one of our main goals.”

That's why teachers from Rickards High School are taking summer school. As part of the Florida Reading Initiative, teachers from various subjects will learn how to help struggling students.

John Weigman of the Florida School District Association, says, “We heard in the presentation, pre-reading exercises, talking beforehand, these are strategies that can help them understand what it is they're reading.”

Rickards principal Pink Hightower says they have a large number of eighth graders coming in reading below grade level. He says this problem requires a school-wide effort.

Rickards is the first high school in Leon County to participate in the Florida Reading Initiative. A spokesperson says schools in the program have seen a 25 percent decrease in the number of struggling readers each year.