Pinellas County fights below average graduation rate with summer - WFLA News Channel 8

Pinellas County fights below average graduation rate with summer class

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Mother and PTA member Terri Lyn George enrolled her son Parker, age 10, in the program. Mother and PTA member Terri Lyn George enrolled her son Parker, age 10, in the program.
11,000 students have signed up for Pinellas County's Summer Bridge program which helps kids improve their FCAT scores. 11,000 students have signed up for Pinellas County's Summer Bridge program which helps kids improve their FCAT scores.
Mother and PTA member Terri Lyn George enrolled her son Parker, age 10, in the program. Mother and PTA member Terri Lyn George enrolled her son Parker, age 10, in the program.
Thousands of Pinellas County students are waking up early this week, even though school is out.

11,000 students have signed up for Summer Bridge. The program is aimed at students with poor FCAT scores and has an interactive teaching style. Last year was the first year for Summer Bridge. Enrollment doubled this year.

Mother and PTA member Terri Lyn George enrolled her son Parker, age 10, in the program.

"We read together and I have him read by himself over the summer," George said. "It's not enough. The teachers are the experts so putting him in Summer Bridge with teachers, is great."

The graduation rate in the county has been going up over the last few years. Even so, it's at 72 percent, which is lower than the state average of 76 percent.

"I honestly think this is the right thing to do to improve the graduation rate," said Dywayne Hinds, who is the director of middle school education in Pinellas County.

"In the past we've been reactive, especially when it comes to algebra, now we're being proactive."

Even though George's son is only ten years old, she still worries about graduation.

"I want to keep him engaged," George said. "Keeping him engaged in learning is an important part of his future."

Summer Bridge classes start Tuesday, June 17, but you can sign up throughout the program.

Learn more about Summer Bridge.

Copyright 2014 WFLA. All rights reserved.
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