PASCO HAS MORE KIDS READY FOR KINDERGARTEN
Pasco County continued to outpace the state average in the percentage of 5-year-olds ready for kindergarten during 2009, the Florida Department of Education reports. Results of student evaluations taken in the fall showed that 93.1 percent of the 4,748 children entering kindergarten for the first time were able to perform skills aligned with the state's prekindergarten curriculum. Last year, 91.7 percent of Pasco children were considered ready using the same analysis. Statewide, 88.5 percent of kindergartners were evaluated as ready. Florida education commissioner Eric J. Smith said the results are noteworthy because nearly two-thirds of Florida's 4-year-olds participated in voluntary pre-k before entering kindergarten. "Florida's parents and prekindergarten teachers have dedicated countless hours to educating our students at an earlier age, ensuring that our success today is not short-lived, but rather an enduring trend that will pave the way for more students to be successful throughout their education career," Smith said in a news release.
Civil rights, music link is series topic
Pasco-Hernando Community College's 25th annual Martin Luther King Jr. Commemorative Lecture Series will feature professor and author Mark Anthony Neal, who will discuss "From Civil Rights to Hip Hop: How Popular Music Impacts Social Change" at two events on Thursday. Neal is professor of black popular culture in the department of African and African-American Studies at Duke University. He has written four books, is a frequent commentator for National Public Radio, and contributes to several online media outlets. He will give two presentations of his talk: the first at 9:30 a.m. Thursday at the Performing Arts Center on the New Port Richey campus, 10230 Ridge Road; and the second at 7 p.m. Thursday in room E-130 on the Dade City campus, 36727 Blanton Road. The lectures are free and open to the public, and school and organization groups are welcome. For information, call PHCC's information center at 1-877-879-7422.
Watch for I-75 lane closure at SR 54
Attention late-night drivers: Portions of Interstate 75 and State Road 54 will be closed overnight this week as crews work on the revamped interchange. The right lanes of northbound and southbound I-75, from north of the rest area to north of SR 54 (exit 279) will be closed between 8 p.m. and 5 a.m. today through Thursday. Also, SR 54 may be closed under I-75 between 11 p.m. and 5 a.m. today through Thursday. All ramps will be open, but no traffic will be able to cross under the interstate. Local traffic will be detoured using State Road 54, County Road 54, Bruce B. Downs Boulevard, and the I-75 interchange at State Road 56.
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