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Leon Schools And Tallahassee Chamber Team Up For Early Literacy

Eight men and women stand shoulder-to-shoulder in a line in front of a podium outside
Tom Flanigan
Flanked by Leon School District and other Chamber officials, Tallahassee Chamber President and CEO Sue Dick was among the speakers in the Riley Elementary School courtyard.

The Classroom Connection initiative seeks to involve businesses and non-profit organizations in helping the district's kindergarten students achieve reading mastery.

Education researchers say early reading skills are the best indicator of how children will do in school and later in life. Now there's a new partnership between the Leon School District and Tallahassee Chamber of Commerce to help more kindergarten students master reading.

Chamber President and CEO Sue Dick said there are nearly 170 kindergarten classrooms and more than 3,000 kids who can benefit from the Classroom Connection effort.

"It's so important that each and every one of our classrooms - our kindergarten classrooms - are connected with a business and resource starting in the fall."

The goal is for businesses and non-profits to adopt those classrooms and also volunteer their staff to help mentor young readers. The program announcement came at Riley Elementary School, in Leon School Board Member Joy Bowen's district.

"And I'm just so grateful that in this All-American city, you have left your addresses where you live and you're here now the services and volunteer hours and opportunity to teach these kids to read," she remarked.

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Tom Flanigan has been with WFSU News since 2006, focusing on covering local personalities, issues, and organizations. He began his broadcast career more than 30 years before that and covered news for several radio stations in Florida, Texas, and his home state of Maryland.

Find complete bio, contact info, and more stories. here.