a quarterly newsletter on children's literacy

Fall 2007


Welcome to the premier issue of ladybug, the Lawyers for Literacy quarterly newsletter!  Fall is one of our busiest seasons, with our Annual Reception, St. Pete Times Reading Festival, and Read to Succeed FCAT preparation program just around the corner.  We've had some incredible support by tutors, sponsors, and schools this season, and I'm looking forward to making the 2007-08 program our best yet!




In This Issue


Important Dates

Literacy & Juvenile Crime


Contact Us


2701 Fifth Avenue North
St. Petersburg
, Florida 33713

(727) 323-4020


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Important Dates:

October 18:  Kickoff Reception, 5-8 p.m. at The Fleming Law Group, 2701 5th Ave N, St. Petersburg. There will be a live jazz band,  hors d'oeuvres, and refreshments. Please RSVP to Jowita by Wednesday, October 17th.


October 27:  St. Pete Times Festival of Reading, 11-5 at the USF St. Pete Campus, 140 7th Ave S, Bayboro Harbor.


November 28: Tutor training & orientation at each school from 12-1 p.m.


1st week of December: Lawyers for Literacy Read to Succeed tutoring program begins.


1st week of March: Tutoring program ends with a lunch for tutors, students, parents, and teachers.


March 12: Reading FCAT begins for third grade.

Literacy & Juvenile Crime


The correlation between illiteracy and crime rates, particularly among juveniles, has been documented and studied for more than 30 years.  A 1978 study by Project Read concluded that the national average reading level of ninth-grade children in the criminal system was fourth grade, and the Bureau of Justice Statistics determined in 1997 that "individuals with a low literacy level are at greater risk for criminal behavior and incarceration." National Center on Education, Disability and Juvenile Justice ( 


That finding is supported by the actual numbers:  85% of children in the juvenile system have below-average reading skills, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.


Children in Florida are particularly at risk.  Associated Content reported in 2005 that an overwhelming 77% of fourth-grade children in this state are reading below proficiency. Moreover, the average statewide FCAT reading scores for 2007 were in the 300 range out of a possible 500 points.  (Pinellas County schools averaged 312 points.)  In light of these statistics, much remains to be done to improve literacy levels in our community, thereby helping reduce juvenile crime rates.






For additional information, or if you are interested in individual or corporate sponsorship opportunities, please call (727) 323-4020.



Lawyers for Literacy | 2701 Fifth Avenue North | St. Petersburg | FL | 33713