Special guests from spoke to students at Mayport Middle School Thursday morning with the focus on literacy and graduation

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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Mayport Middle School had many special guests visit the classes Thursday morning.

Active duty military members, athletes from Jacksonville University and the University of North Florida, police officers, Giants basketball players and members of the chamber of commerce all spoke to the students. The focus was on emphasizing the importance of literacy and graduation.

Communities in Schools put together the career day and more than 60 volunteers participated.

The Communities in Schools has a tutoring program, which 86% of students participating in it increased their reading by one grade level.

"Because if you want to achieve in life and have a great career as some of these people have, you cannot accomplish that without literacy. So we wanted to blend the successful career with successful literacy skills," says Carolyn Lynn with Communities in Schools.

The literacy tutoring program has been in Duval County since 1999 and has helped more than 7,000 students achieve their reading goals.

Literacy Day is also a part of Communities in Schools Dream Project, which focuses on military children. That program connects local veteran and community members with students from military families to serve as mentors and tutors.

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