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PRESS RELEASE

November 14, 2007

Tom Butler
(850) 245-0413

Just Read, Florida! Recognizes Top 25 Percent of Reading First Districts

TALLAHASSEE – The Department of Education’s Just Read, Florida! Office today recognized 12 Florida school districts for being in the top 25 percent of all Reading First districts in the state of Florida. Reading First grants assist Florida school districts and schools with implementation of proven methods of scientifically-based reading instruction in classrooms in order to prevent reading difficulties in grades K-3.

“The Reading First program has been implemented in the state of Florida since 2003, and we are excited about the opportunity to recognize and celebrate the districts that have made tremendous gains over the past few years of implementation,” said Just Read, Florida! Executive Director Dr. Evan Lefsky. “These districts have worked diligently on Reading First implementation and as a result more students are meeting grade level expectations and fewer students have serious reading difficulties.”

Florida Reading First serves 584 schools within 45 districts. Reading First schools are given a variety of resources and training through the federal Reading First program to help them achieve two goals: 1) increase the percentage of students reading at or above grade level; and 2) reduce the percentage of students with serious reading difficulties.

There are three groups of Reading First schools.

  • Group 1-represents 33 districts/318 schools in their 5th year of Reading First implementation serving roughly 120,000 students.
  • Group 2-represents 8 districts/70 schools in their 4th year of Reading First implementation serving roughly 26,000 students.
  • Group 3-represents 18 districts/196 schools in their 3rd year of Reading First implementation serving roughly 76,000 students.

Top 25 percent of Reading First districts serving Group 1 schools.

District Name # of Reading First Schools % Increase at Grade Level % Reduction at High Risk
Dixie 2 20.42 20.61
Taylor 3 20.17 17.00
Collier 11 14.23 17.09
Putnam 10 13.04 10.13
Lee 17 11.73 11.36
Marion 12 11.92 10.02
Suwannee 3 9.84 10.21
Charlotte 4 10.50 7.00

Top 25 percent of Reading First districts serving Group 2 schools.

District Name # of Reading First Schools % Increase at Grade Level % Reduction at High Risk
Holmes 2 20.54 19.35
Madison 2 11.42 4.31

Top 25 percent of Reading First districts serving Group 3 schools.

District Name # of Reading First Schools % Increase at Grade Level % Reduction at High Risk
Collier 2 7.36 4.57
Okeechobee 1 2.34 7.05
Holmes 1 7.81 0.85
Pinellas 11 5.04 1.48

For more information about the Reading First program in Florida, please visit http://www.justreadflorida.com/reading_first.asp.