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PRESS RELEASE

December 6, 2006

Kristy Campbell
(850) 488-5394
Cathy Schroeder
(850) 245-0413

Governor Bush and First Lady Bush Announce Reading in the Arts Contest Winners

ORLANDO — Governor Jeb Bush and First Lady Columba Bush recently announced the winners of the Just Read, Florida! Reading in the Arts Contest, Florida's Journey into Neverland. The announcement was made during a ceremony at SeaWorld Orlando's Dolphin Cove on Monday The contest was aimed at middle school students and focused on the book "Peter and the Starcatchers" by Florida author Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson.

"The Reading in the Arts contest is a great opportunity for Florida middle schools students to showcase their creativity and imagination," said Governor Bush. "I congratulate our three winners on the wonderful projects they produced, truly capturing the essence of ‘Peter and the Starcatchers'."

Middle school students in public, private and home schools were invited to participate in one of three categories: sixth grade illustration contest, seventh grade short essay contest and eighth grade short video contest. Nearly 700 entries were received, including 514 illustrations, 157 short essays, and 11 short videos.

The winner in each category is:

Sixth Grade Illustration Contest: Zachary Maines, in Patricia Contardo's class at Young Middle Magnet School in Hillsborough County. Zachary illustrated a scene near the end of the story where Captain Stache tries to escape from the island. The illustration was rendered using marker, pastel, colored pencil and gouache.

Seventh Grade Short Essay Contest: Rachel Chapnick, in Tobey Marsceill's class at Pine Crest Middle School in Palm Beach County. Rachel set the theme of her essay in the Captain's Cabin with Black Stache staring at what once was his hand.

Eighth Grade Short Video Contest: Brianna McCoy, in Jillian Aber's class at Lakeview Middle School in Orange County. The scene is from Chapter 34 where Molly finds Peter on the island. The two actors in Brianna's video are Michael Powers and Angelique Neuman.

"Through this year's Reading in the Arts contest, both students and teachers demonstrated the ability of the arts to be integrated into other subjects and enhance learning experiences," said First Lady Columba Bush. "I join Governor Bush in congratulating this year's winners and all of the Florida students who participated in the Reading in the Arts contest."

Prizes for the winning student in each grade level and his or her teacher include a vacation for a family of four from contest sponsor SeaWorld that includes a three-day, two-night Orlando hotel stay; a $500 clothing gift card from Macy's; bookseller gift certificates from Borders, Books-A-Million and Barnes & Noble; a $100 gift certificate from Simon Malls; an Apple iPod nano (students only) courtesy of Infinity Software Development, Inc.; a $250 cash prize courtesy of Bealls Department Stores, Inc.; a $100 movie gift card from AMC Theatres; and a copy of the book "Peter and the Starcatchers" autographed by Governor Bush, First Lady Bush and authors Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson.

Specific guidelines were used for evaluating each category. Illustration entries were judged on the elements of art and principles of design, whether the entry exhibited age-appropriate control of the media and craftsmanship, and whether the entry illustrated or communicated an emotion, event, or concept related to the book. Illustrations were judged by the Department of Education Graphics Office. Essays were judged on creativity, grammar and spelling, choice of words and organization. Essays were judged by the Department of State, Division of Libraries and Just Read, Florida!. Video entries were judged on originality, screenplay, directing, acting performances, cinematography, sound/music, editing, production design and special effects. Video entries were judged by the Governor's Office of Film and Entertainment.

Just Read, Florida! is Governor Bush's statewide reading initiative to achieve the goal of every child reading at or above grade level by the year 2012. The initiative is designed to guide changes at every level of education that have an impact on reading outcomes in Florida schools. This year, 223,000 more students are reading at or above grade level compared to 2001, and improvements in middle school reading tripled that of any previous single year gain.

To view winner's entries, please visit www.justreadflorida.com/RitA/.