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February 14, 2006

Jennifer Fennell or
Cathy Schroeder
(850) 245-0413

Just Read, Florida! Celebrates Hazardous Weather Awareness Week

LAKELAND — In recognition of Hazardous Weather Awareness Week, state and local officials tomorrow will read to students in grades Pre-K through three at Southwest Elementary School in Lakeland.

The schedule for tomorrow's event includes:

8:00 a.m. - 12:20 p.m.
Command/Emergency Vehicle Tours

8:35 a.m. - 12:20 p.m.
Weather Lecture

9:10 - 9:30 a.m.
Tornado Drill

1:00 - 1:20 p.m.
Media Availability
Region 4 and 5 Essay Contest winners will be recognized

1:30 - 2:00 p.m.
Celebrity Reading

State and local officials reading to students will be:

  • Representative John Stargel
  • Mayor Buddy Fletcher, City of Lakeland
  • Larry Riles, Lakeland City Fire Marshall
  • James Verplanck, Lakeland City Commissioner
  • Mike Mohler, Lakeland Fire Chief
  • Bill Lepere, Lakeland Assistant Chief of Police
  • Dr. Samuel Bennett, 2006 Florida Department of Education/Macy's Teacher of the Year
  • Ben Nelson, State Meteorologist
  • Frank O'Reilly, Polk County School Board
  • Karen Creighton, American Red Cross
  • Corporal Janice Drake, Florida Highway Patrol
  • Karen Brown, Daniel Noah, and Charlie Paxton, Tampa Bay National Weather Service
  • Steve Jerve, WFLA TV News Meteorologist
  • Cheryl Edwards, Lakeland Fire Department

Other local officials attending include:

  • Dr. Gail McKinzie, Superintendent, Polk County Schools
  • R. Howard Wiggs, Lakeland City Commission
  • Michael Bastian, Region 4 Essay Contest winner (Lakeland High School)
  • Emily Plaggemars, Region 5 Essay Contest winner (Lake Mary High School) and mother Barbara Plaggemars
  • Mark Thomas, Principal and Conni Shelnut, teacher, Lakeland High School (Region 4)
  • Margaret Anne Wheeler, Polk County Schools Coordinator of Community Involvement
  • Katie-Jane Shytle, Polk County School Board
  • Larry Coggins, Florida Highway Patrol

The event will take place from:

8:00 a.m.- 2:00 p.m.
Southwest Elementary School
2650 Southwest Avenue