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PRESS RELEASE

November 18, 2004

MacKay Jimeson
(850) 245-0413
William Piferrer
(850) 245-0503

Just Read, Florida! Announces Partnership With Beall's Department Stores
Proceeds from book sales to benefit local reading programs

JACKSONVILLE — Just Read, Florida! and Beall's Department Stores today announced a new partnership making more than 20,000 holiday-themed books available for purchase at Florida Beall's locations. The announcement was made at the grand opening of the new Beall's Department Store on Commerce Center Drive in Jacksonville.

Governor Bush lauded Just Read, Florida!'s efforts to promote reading through community partnerships, and thanked Beall's for their commitment to education in Florida. "Corporate partnerships are a fundamental part of promoting increased parental involvement, and they help us build on Florida's strong foundation of reading success," Governor Bush said. "I thank Beall's for their partnering with Just Read, Florida! to support reading in all our schools."

A portion of the proceeds from the sale of books will be donated to Just Read, Florida! and the Florida Education Foundation to support local reading programs. The program is scheduled to continue beyond the holiday season with a variety of rotating themes.

"The holiday season is an excellent time for students to continue the enjoyment of reading," Education Commissioner John Winn said. "Many holiday traditions are reflected in traditional stories and folklore. Books make wonderful gifts that will be cherished for generations to come."

In September, 2001 Governor Bush signed an executive order creating the Just Read, Florida! initiative. Just Read, Florida! prioritizes reading in public schools by helping them implement a comprehensive system of reading instruction. It also provides for increased parent, business and community involvement with the ultimate goal of having every child read on grade level by 2012.

Headquartered in Bradenton, Beall's Inc. has an admirable history of charitable contribution and community involvement. Founded in 1915, the family- and employee-owned company has awarded nearly 300 college scholarships through the R.M. Beall, Sr. Charitable Foundation and has given back $368,000 to schools participating in their Partners in Education school uniform program.

"We expect this to be a long lasting partnership with Just Read, Florida! that will continue to grow throughout the years," said Conrad Syzmanski, President of Beall's Department Stores. "Beall's is very excited to help support children's literacy."

For more information about Beall's Department Stores, visit www.beallsflorida.com. For more information on Governor Bush's Just Read, Florida! initiative, visit www.justreadflorida.com or www.myflorida.com