Education Commissioner Dr. Donnie Horner is no stranger to the struggles in Duval County Public Schools. He knows the challenges that each school faces and he is working alongside each one to increase graduation rates and better prepare students for the 21st century job market.
Thursday morning, July 12th, Dr. Horner took time to visit three TEAM UP Summer Camp locations to speak to, observe, and listen to students that are a part of the Communities In Schools of Jacksonville program.
First stop was Woodland Acres Elementary, where he asked students to call him “Doc.” He then gave three points of advice: read this summer; exercise; and come every day. “I am very proud of all of you,” he encouragingly told the students and then thanked all the staff who put time into making a difference in the students’ lives.
He sat down with two rising sixth grades for some one-on-one time, gaining insight on how they felt about the current way school is run. His questions included how much time off of school they thought they needed, referencing a possible year round school year, and what their dreams were for the future.
Dr. Horner spent time visiting classrooms where students were working on summer academics. He sat down with students, assisting them with their work, showing his true character and care for their success. Continuing his morning, he made stops at Pickett and Pinedale Elementary schools, visiting more classrooms, speaking to more students, and taking in the sights of a program successfully making a difference in schools.
Communities In Schools has proven to be the top dropout prevention organization in the nation. With the support of Dr. Horner and Mayor Alvin Brown, the organization continues to expand into more schools in Duval County, helping young people successfully learn, stay in school and prepare for life.