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Leesburg Community Comes Together
to Build Better Readers

photo
Lake County students join Dr. Angela Martin on stage for a creative learning exercise

Community members in Leesburg recently hosted a Families Building Better Readers (FBBR) workshop to share simple activities that everyone can do at home to help children become better readers. Through a series of light-hearted and entertaining sessions, parents learned simple instructional activities that they can do with their children to improve reading performance. Activities were supported by sound reading research, and trainers provided parents with resources to help them improve their children's literacy throughout life. As part of the construction theme, every parent receives a "tool kit" filled with reading activities to do with their children.

FBBR training is provided by Dr. Angela Martin from the University of West Florida. Dr. Martin works as an educational consultant, creating educational materials and conducting dynamic workshops across the Southeast. She is an experienced elementary school teacher and earned her doctorate in Curriculum and Instruction and her masters in Elementary and Early Childhood Education with an emphasis in reading. As a trainer, Martin is well known and liked by parents and mentors whose positive roles she values as a mother of four and mentor herself.

This FBBR workshop was hosted by the First Baptist Church of Leesburg, a local church that also provides an after school program through the Governor's Mentoring Initiative and works with Lake County schools at a 21st Century Community Learning Center. Over 269 parents and more than 100 children participated in the workshop. Madd Dads, a local group whose goal is to promote fathers' involvement in their children's lives, served participants pizza donated by Domino's Pizza. Children who attended also participated in a poster contest to promote reading. Each of the winners in four categories received a bicycle that was donated by Wal-Mart. Overall, the workshop was a tremendous success thanks to the support of the local community and dedicated parents.

For more information about Families Building Better Readers and the upcoming workshop schedule, visit www.justreadflorida.com/fbbr.asp.