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PRESS RELEASE

April 14, 2005

Vivian Myrtetus
(850) 245-0413

Education Commissioner Winn Recognizes Florida's Outstanding Business Partners

ORLANDO — Florida Education Commissioner John L. Winn tonight will honor Florida's top business partners. The Commissioner's Business Recognition Awards, sponsored by the Florida Education Foundation, salute businesses throughout the state that have shown a commitment to improving the academic success of Florida's students.

"Florida is fortunate to have so many businesses interested and involved in providing educational opportunities for our students," said Commissioner Winn. "I applaud each of them for their commitment, creativity, and innovation in bringing about positive change in their local schools."

In addition to the 87 businesses representing 49 school districts, six businesses are recognized on a statewide level. The Commissioner's Awards of Distinction will be presented to:

  • Barnes & Noble for their support of Black History Month and reading by recognizing prominent African-American writers and posting a recommended reading list of African-American literature in each store.
  • Bealls, Inc. for their support of children's literacy and Just Read, Florida! by donating proceeds of the sale of more than 20,000 holiday-themed books to support local reading programs beyond the holiday season.
  • Books-A-Million for promoting reading through a statewide book drive during Florida's sales tax holiday 2004 and for pledging several thousand books to Just Read, Florida! for schools, media centers, and reading programs throughout Florida.
  • Coca-Cola Bottling Company for their support of reading with the Coca-Cola's Story Chasers Tour, themed truck backs emphasizing the importance of reading, and supporting education initiatives by providing student scholarships and encouraging employees to serve as mentors.
  • Lockheed Martin for donating more than 500 computers to schools in damaged by last summer's devastating hurricanes.
  • Staples for responding to the Florida Education Foundation's call for partners by donating thousands of dollars worth of basic school supplies, computer software, batteries, and library carts and bookstands to several of Florida's school districts most impacted by last summer's hurricanes.

The Commissioner's Business Recognition Awards are sponsored by the Florida Education Foundation and are administered by the Florida Department of Education to encourage and promote successful partnerships and induce others to engage in similar alliances for the benefit of Florida's students.

The list of district winners is attached. (PDF, 79KB)