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February 15, 2006

Cathy Schroeder
(850) 245-0413

Governor Bush and Commissioner Winn Launch Online Reading Resource for Florida Educators
Website provides research-proven reading instruction to assist teachers

TALLAHASSEE — Governor Jeb Bush and Education Commissioner John L. Winn today announced the Literacy Essentials and Reading Network (LEaRN) website for principals, reading coaches and classroom teachers. Funded by Just Read, Florida! and developed by the North East Florida Educational Consortium, LEaRN provides short video clips of effective and research-proven reading instruction in Florida classrooms.

"Our reading instructors and coaches play a critical role in making certain our students succeed in reading and other subjects," said Governor Bush. "LEaRN gives teachers the opportunity to learn from the best—their peers in Florida—and make the greatest impact possible on teaching students to read successfully."

Part of the Just Read, Florida! website, LEaRN focuses on the practice of teaching reading through information and visible teaching examples that are directly applicable to classroom activities. This footage of useful classroom instruction will help teachers apply the practices in their own lessons. In addition to video, the website allows visitors to tailor an individual opening page with pertinent links to information, includes a journal for teachers to save notes, facilitates public discussion and encourages them to participate in a learning group to share best practices.

"We know that the most significant impact on student success is the quality of the teacher," said Commissioner Winn. "Developed by teachers, for teachers, LEaRN is practical resource that is easily accessible and provides an effective way to increase the number of students reading on grade level."

A team of Florida educators statewide helped develop the website, and many of the interactive video clips feature Florida teachers in their own classrooms. Although all information is relevant to teachers of grades Kindergarden through 12, future plans include the addition of clips and information specific to the challenges that middle and secondary teachers face.

"Teachers use LEaRN to target their own individual needs for solid foundational knowledge, lesson planning, and modeled instructional skills and strategies," said Hancock Creek Elementary School Reading Coach Polly Kiely. "The system is extremely user-friendly and well-developed. I truly appreciate the excellent professional development and comprehensive support the state has provided Florida's Reading First initiative in addressing the growth of our teachers to meet student needs and effect student achievement."

Any visitor to the website can register and view the material. This offers a unique opportunity for parents to view research-proven instruction and gain a better understanding of the comprehensive nature of reading education. The LEaRN website provides a practical venue for educators to see how high-quality instruction should be used in the classroom.

The LEaRN website is accessible through the Just Read, Florida! website at Just Read, Florida! is Governor Jeb Bush's statewide reading initiative aimed at having all children reading on grade level or higher by 2012.