UF seeks state money for reading program piloted in ‘failure factories’

POLITICO, Tampa Bay Times
Feb. 4, 2016
UF Lastinger Center Director Don Pemberton in talks with lawmakers about piloting reading program
UF researchers are working in Melrose Elementary

Don Pemberton, director of the college’s UF Lastinger Center for Learning, told POLITICO Florida he is in discussions with lawmakers to fund a pilot intensive reading program that has garnered preliminary success in two troubled Pinellas County elementary schools. A Lastinger Center team worked with 20 third, fourth and fifth graders after school and evaluated the students’ grasp of critical reading skills before and after the program. Students’ success improved by 75 percent to 100 percent. Pemberton said he is seeking funding for five to 15 schools in three districts, with the total cost not more than $1.5 million. The Tampa Bay Times’ education reporter also picked up the story.