Orlando Schools To Improve Literacy


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Orlando Schools To Improve Literacy



By: Ernest Evans

Let’s Read, Seminole! is a summer reading program that Orlando Public Schools got behind this summer. The Orlando Schools took a bus, painted it red, ripped the seats out and installed book shelves. The bus was then crammed with books for kids ages 5 to 18. Orlando Schools students can keep the books they take off the bus, or they can bring them back and get more. What an awesome program!

When I look back at summer vacations, I find that I was mostly bored. My best friend’s parents always took her to New York for the summer, and all I had to look forward to was a 3-week trip to my grandparents’ houses in Ohio. While I did have fun visiting them, most of the summer was quite boring, and lonely, to tell you the truth.

Orlando Schools Brings the Books to the Students

The big red bus intended to serve Orlando Schools students in the summer would’ve done me a world of good as a child. While I’ve always been an avid reader, meeting the bus would have given me something to look forward to. A lot of “latch-key kids” are pretty starved at times for contact with other kids. When parents of children in the Orlando Schools work or can’t be available a lot of children are left to fend for themselves.

As a child my family went to bookstores fairly often, but I often found myself with nothing to read unless I reread what I already had. I did plenty of that, but more and more times I sat down to watch Andy Griffith and Beverly Hillbillies’ reruns, instead. If my school had had the Orlando Schools program in place for the summer holidays, I’m sure that the vacation would have passed quickly for me.

I’m not bitter, however. Education has come a long way in schools throughout the country, and Orlando Schools are no exception. I truly believe that the schools I attended did the best they knew how at the time and have simply progressed over time to continually improve, as they should. Today, however, they are concentrating more on keeping students engaged over the summer months, and I applaud them for that. Orlando Schools have recognized the need to keep kids reading when they are off, and this will pr help retention of what the students have learned in the previous school year as well. Since the newness of free books will most likely wear off, the leaders of this program developed by Orlando Schools have also developed a website to encourage the kids to keep visiting the bus, and to keep reading. Orlando Schools students who have gotten books from the bus can log on, record what they’ve read, and in the process get a chance to win prizes. Not much else thrills a kid more than that!



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27 Apr 2011


By Ernest Evans
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