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What a Difference a Year Makes!

One student's experience with retention

Governor Bush recognizes Adrian's accomplishments at the State of Education Address

Adrian Wilson is a fourth grade student at Richmond Heights Elementary in Orlando, and he is passionate about reading. Today he's one of the best readers in his class, but that wasn't always the case.

As a second grader, Adrian struggled to keep up. By third grade he was falling behind his classmates. His grades were pretty good, but things were harder than they should be. His FCAT results pinpointed the problem — he hadn't yet mastered the basics of reading.
Adrian's mom, Carole, and his teachers decided that he wasn't ready to move on to fourth grade and opted to retain him for a year so he could have the extra time he needed to build the critical reading skills he would need to succeed in higher grades. Carole remembers it was a hard decision, but the right one.

What a difference a year makes! Last year Adrian's teachers, supported by focused attention from the school's reading coach and volunteers like Andrea Haynes, worked one on one with him to improve his reading and comprehension skills. In the process, they not only shared their knowledge of reading, they shared their love of it, and Adrian did his part by working hard all year.

This year Adrian, once a struggling reader, earned the highest FCAT reading score in his entire class. Governor Jeb Bush recognized his accomplishment during the State of Education Address, November 13 in Orlando. Richmond Heights gave Adrian the time and attention he needed to build the skills to succeed. His mom said she noticed a real difference this summer. Even though school was out and the pressure was off, Adrian usually picked up a book instead of his Gameboy. He's now a strong reader, which means he can be lifelong learner.

For more information on Richmond Heights Elementary, visit