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November 08, 2004 Extra Credit
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November 8, 2004

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November 5
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"It Gives Them The Confidence To Soar In School"

The following are excerpts from an article in yesterday’s Naples Daily News highlighting the free tutoring provided under No Child Left Behind that is benefiting students at a Florida elementary school:

"First-grader Sandro Audige perches at the edge of his family's couch, which in addition to people holds many colorful children's books, a tape recorder and papers. Sandro, 6, gazes at the large book taking up most of his lap called ‘The Very Hungry Caterpillar.’ He has a special guest today, his reading tutor, Betty Valcin, who reads aloud and asks the youngster along the way: ‘What's your favorite food?’ … ‘Can you point to it?’ and ‘How many are there?’ The youngster points to a strawberry, and when he does speak, it is in a choppy, lightly accented English giving away his Haitian heritage.

"The progress that the Pinecrest Elementary student has made represents a milestone — for him, for Florida and for federal education policy. As he masters new sounds, vocabulary and reading patterns on his living room couch, Sandro is in a national vanguard. He is among the first students in Collier County to make use of a particular provision in the federal No Child Left Behind Act, which allows families at schools with three years of low test scores to hire tutors — at the school's expense."

"This is the third year Pinecrest Elementary and Immokalee High have been dubbed as needing improvement under federal law. So parents can either transfer their children to a better-performing school or, for the first time this year, receive private tutoring. The tutoring offered to Pinecrest students is unusual: Valcin and other certified tutors travel to a child's home."

"[Parents To Kids] … hires tutors who travel to a child's home for an hour of one-on-one tutoring each week."

"Donna DeHart, the Parents to Kids coordinator, said her tutors work with the regular classroom teachers so there's a seamless reading instruction. ‘This gives them individual help,’ she said. ‘It gives them the confidence to soar in school.’

"Pinecrest Principal James doesn't resent the school's performance being judged inadequate. ‘There are areas where we do need improvement,’ she said. ‘We'll just put more strategies in place.’ Sandro and his mother already are glad there's one in place."

The complete text of this article is available online.

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NCLB Extra Credit is a regular look at the No Child Left Behind Act, President Bush's landmark education reform initiative passed with bipartisan support in Congress.

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Last Modified: 11/22/2006