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WGCU Staff

  • The latest reading scores for students in Florida show that 47% of Florida’s 3rd graders are not reading on grade level. And data shows that if a student is struggling in third grade they are very likely to struggle in middle school and beyond. Eighty-percent of high school dropouts were struggling readers in 3rd grade.In the new book "America's Embarrassing Reading Crisis: What We Learned From COVID" Dr. Lisa Richardson Hassler explores reading proficiencies among third-graders, both pre and post-pandemic, and compares established virtual learning methods like those used by Florida’s Virtual School with traditional brick-and-mortar schools.
  • We talk with a professor at Florida Gulf Coast University who is working with a team of researchers at the University of Geneva in Switzerland to try and help the World Health Organization decrease the number of deaths and disabilities caused by venomous snakebites by half by 2030. Their team has developed a web-based app called Snake ID that uses visual pattern recognition algorithms to help doctors and patients identify venomous snakes. The technology can also be used to help healthcare systems determine what kinds of antivenom treatments to have on hand in particular geographic areas.
  • Three of the five positions on the Collier County School board are up for election this year. Three incumbents and eight challengers are vying for the school board’s district one, district three and district five races in the Aug. 23 primary election. All eleven candidates plan to participate in a forum on Tuesday, June 21 at the Naples Area Board of Realtors (NABOR) Convention Center at 6 p.m.
  • In this documentary special, we learn about a remarkable agency: the Freedmen’s Bureau, established by Congress to help this population as the war drew to a close. We find out about the journey of millions of newly freed people toward citizenship. And we hear about the spiritual faith that enabled them to hang on — against past horrors and the new hostility they would endure: the terrorist backlash against emancipation including the Ku Klux Klan, which arose in this period.
  • For more than a decade researchers and growers have been exploring the potential efficacy and economic impact of developing a commercial-scale olive industry in Florida. In recent years, they’ve been making advances in identifying olive varieties that can thrive even in Florida’s warmer southern regions. We’ll explore the latest research findings with Florida Olive Council founder and President Michael O’Hara Garcia.
  • Can solving specially designed brain games on a computer or tablet reduce the chances of developing dementia, like Alzheimer’s, or delay the loss of function associated with the disease and other forms of dementia? That is the primary question being tested by researchers at the University of South Florida in Tampa. Earlier stages of the study have demonstrated promising results. For instance, healthy older adults who have received this targeted computerized training had a 29% lower risk of dementia after 10 years, and those completing additional training were 48% less likely to show signs of dementia 10 years later.
  • The 2022 Atlantic Hurricane Season is well-underway, with southwest Florida’s recent brush with Tropical Storm Alex, which was the first named storm of the season. Alex caused significant flooding in parts of Florida and killed three people in Cuba. The storm serves as a reminder that even though the peak of hurricane season typically doesn’t arrive until September, severe weather can come at any time throughout the six month hurricane season and that now is the time to prepare. We talk with the director of Lee County Emergency Management's Department of Public Safety to get some tips on what residents should do to be ready.
  • The Florida Supreme Court will hear arguments tomorrow in a dispute about a 2011 state law that threatens stiff penalties if city and county officials pass gun-related regulations. The so-called ‘preemption law’ is being challenged by more than 30 local governments and dozens of local officials, as well as Florida Commissioner of Agriculture Nikki Fried. We talk with Fried about the lawsuit and issues around gun violence. Fried is also a Democratic candidate for Governor.
  • The United States has become increasingly polarized in recent years. New research published by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace seeks to better understand what happens when democracies become ‘perniciously polarized’ — that’s when polarization has divided a society into two mutually antagonistic political camps, where each side sees the other as a threat to the country’s future. According to this research, polarization in the United States reached the level of pernicious in 2015 and remains so to this day.
  • Throughout the month of June Koreshan State Park in Estero is hosting four 'Citizen Science' informational programs to introduce people to the concept of citizen science and learn about four established research projects that they can become involved with. Citizen Science harnesses the interest and involvement of members of the public to help collect and interpret results for specifically focused scientific questions.