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PRESS RELEASE

February 23, 2007

Erin Isaac
850-488-5394

Crist Praises Reading Coaches
~ Governor Visits Warfield Elementary School ~

INDIANTOWN – Governor Charlie Crist today visited Warfield Elementary School in Martin County to meet with students and teachers to discuss the benefits of reading coaches. The Governor toured the campus with Principal Loreen Francescani, a 2006 statewide principal of the year, and visited with teachers currently utilizing reading coaches.

“I am thoroughly impressed with the teachers, students and administration at Warfield Elementary,” said Governor Crist. “Schools like this are preparing Florida’s children for success in every aspect of life.”

Governor Crist visited with Jeanne Tubb, a reading coach, and Gail Tomer, a writing and math coach. The Governor’s proposed budget recommends $26 million to provide an additional 400 reading coaches throughout the state to help teachers more effectively improve the reading skills of struggling students. Currently, Florida’s 2,100 reading coaches help educators learn the most comprehensive and effective research-based practices for teaching reading.

“The students at Warfield are so excited about reading,” said Governor Crist. “During lunch two kindergarten students showed me the buttons they received for reading 50 books each. The impact a reading coach can have on a school is truly astounding.”

Warfield Elementary School is located in Indiantown, Florida, and has a 95 percent minority population. During the 2005-06 school year, 96 percent of the school’s students received free or reduced lunch. Warfield received a “D” grade for the 2001-02 school year. By the 2003-04 school year, Warfield was awarded an “A” grade. The school has maintained an “A” grade for the past two years with students making significant gains in reading, writing and math skills.