I Can Success Stories

Dear Mr. Alexander,

I was so delighted to hear from you. I am looking forward to hearing and seeing you again at our school in October. I am so proud that we will begin a fourth year of the I CAN curriculum. I was thrilled to stand before our school board, which runs the 12th largest school system in the United States, and with my principal accept this honor. This coming week our school will take the Stanford Achievement Test (SAT9). As I was thinking about the upcoming week, I know our schools will again be an academic success story. Just to show you how confident I am, please take a moment and read about our successes with the Stanford Achievement Test. In 1996, at the end of my schools' first year completing the I CAN curriculum, my school had a 12 percentage point increase in our school-wide reading score on the SAT. During the second year (1997) using the I CAN curriculum, our school increased 20% points in our school-wide reading SAT score. I also did some research in other areas of our school and discovered a 4% point increase in our state writing test scores, and our school had a 11% point increase in our school-wide SAT mathematics score. I know that standardized scores are important, but let me brag on other aspects of our I CAN school. As the last year of a junior high school (1996) we were the District's football champions. We had our first yearbook in the 34 year history of our school. We had over 90% of our students in clubs. This was a 60% increase in club involvement for our school. This was the year that over 80% of our teachers knew that they would not be able to stay at our school, but the I CAN curriculum gave them the confidence and the self-esteem to lead a multicultural, poor, inner-city school to the top. We were featured on a major TV news program as a "SUPER SCHOOL." Now we are in our second year as a middle school with a new faculty who teach half in a traditional school and half in an environmental magnet school. Other schools in our district with similar divisions are having major problems, but not our school. Recently a county visitor asked to have a major retreat at our school because she said, "I feel a spiritual presence at your school." I know what she means. You can visit our school to see our I CAN intramural banners, to read our displayed I CAN students' and teachers' poetry, to watch our I CAN TV morning show, or take part in one of our I CAN contests or to just walk down the nature trail and stop a minute by our I CAN butterfly garden. Our teachers, our students, and our administration have the I CAN attitude, and we know we are making a difference. Finally, let me say, "thank you for coming back to our school." You and the I CAN curriculum do make a difference in our students' and our teachers' lives.


Charlene Garrett
Reading Resource Specialist
212 13th Street NW Ruskin, Florida 33570