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Overcoming Barriers to English Language Learning and Academic Achievement

Overcoming Barriers to English Language Learning and Academic Achievement

Language learning is probably one of the most difficult skills to master. It is compounded by the simultaneous learning of academic content. It is through the English language that Florida’s over 200,000 ELLs must achieve mastery of the academic standards as outlined by the Florida Department of Education. In addition, there are a large number of English Language Institutes (ELIs) and community colleges that prepare students to meet the challenges of a higher education curriculum.

2011 Jazz Festival Underway | SEE SCHEDULE HERE

MORE: PARKING | STREET CLOSURES

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The lineup for the 2011 Jazz Festival again features top performers on five different stages.

The music gets underway today at Friday at 5 p.m.

WHERE ARE THE STAGES? EVENT MAP

Sunday the music begins at 11 a.m. and the festival wraps up at 8 p.m.

Swingin' Stage

Felons Benefit from Victim Service Center Funds

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. --  Danielle McQueen's brother, Reginald, was shot and killed in a 2009 drive-by.

"It's been difficult," said McQueen.

The day her brother died, she said, her family got a visit from someone at the Jacksonville's Victim Services Center. But McQueen said after the visit, her family never heard from them again. 

"I did not know what services they provide, and at this point I still do not know what services they provide," said McQueen.

"They didn't provide us with documents, brochures or anything like that to explain what they provided."

According to a city audit, the center offers counseling and financial assistance to victims of crime. Last year, more than $1.3 million went to victim services.

It pays for victims' utility bills, rent or mortgage, auto and home repairs, prescriptions, gift cards for food and medical services to sex crime victims.

School Board Eyes More Budget Cuts

JACKSONVILLE, Fla -- The Duval County School Board is tackling another round of budget cuts on Friday trying to find at least $14 million more in savings.

The district is facing a projected $91 million shortfall as funding from the state has been cut.

On the eve of the school board workshop, runners took to the streets of downtown Jacksonville to draw attention to the board's decision to axe 10 varsity sports programs to save money.

 Doug Alred of 1st Place Sports has been in the running business since 1978 and is now spearheading an effort to raise $70,000 to keep running in Duval high schools.

Cross country is on the chopping block in the Duval County Public Schools system as it cuts sports to close the budget deficit, but Alred said it needs to stay.

Probe into Fancy Losco Park Prompts Fix-up of Eastside Park

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Improvements are being made to Wigmore Park on the Eastside to make it safer following complaints about a new $660,000 synthetic soccer field going in at Losco Regional Park.

A number of city councilmembers said they were surprised about the expense of the new soccer field, while others were outraged they didn't know about it. 

Jacksonville city councilmember Bill Bishop said he had never heard of this project, which is now almost finished. "I'm familiar with the project only because you mentioned it to me, other than that, I hadn't heard about it," he said.

Bishop is referring to the city's investment in a nearly $660,000 state-of-the-art soccer field at Losco Regional Park in Mandarin, that his colleague, councilmember Art Shad pioneered.

"$600,000-plus, in anybody's world, is a lot of money."

Small Business and Social Networking

Small Business and Social Networking

Small Business and Social Networking

What You Need To Know: Social Networking/ Social Marketing is booming in small business and for the entrepreneurial. Blogs are covering multiple genres in business and marketing. Technology is a new tool for not only personal contact, but also for business contacts. Now is the time for small business owners to explore the business options on several social networks. It does not take a technology degree; a degree in computer engineering, nor a marketing degree it's as simple as networking and gaining a basic understanding of using networking tools online.

Florida Residents Encouraged To Include Pets In Family Disaster Plans

Florida Residents Encouraged To Include Pets In Family Disaster Plans

As a part of Florida Hurricane Preparedness Week, state emergency management officials are encouraging every pet owner in Florida to include their animals in their family disaster preparedness plan before the start of the 2011 Atlantic Hurricane Season. By planning for the needs of your pets, it will greatly increase the chances of their survival during disasters.