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PRESS RELEASE

August 03, 2007

Tom Butler
(850) 245-0413

2007 Just Read, Florida! K-12 Leadership Conference Draws Largest Crowd Ever

ORLANDO — On Monday, August 6, more than 4,600 reading coaches, literacy experts, educators, school administrators and state and national leaders will converge at the sixth annual Just Read, Florida! K-12 Leadership Conference in Orlando, Florida, to share the latest in reading instructional strategies and best practices. This year’s attendance marks the largest crowd ever for the event, surpassing last year’s total by more than 1,000 attendees. Lieutenant Governor Jeff Kottkamp, State Board of Education Chairman T. Willard Fair, Just Read, Florida! Executive Director Dr. Evan Lefsky and award winning author and educator, Sharon Draper will kick off the conference.

“I am delighted to see such a large and varied group of reading professionals come together for this important event,” said Lieutenant Governor Jeff Kottkamp. “The importance of literacy skills cannot be overstated, and I look forward to witnessing the positive results of this conference.”

Sponsored by the Florida Education Foundation, the leadership conference features presentations by state and national leaders, accomplished authors, reading experts, literacy professionals and prominent educators. The conference includes more than 300 sessions, led by principals, educators, professionals and reading coaches from across the state. Additional guest speakers include Education Commissioner Jeanine Blomberg, K-12 Public Schools Chancellor Dr. Cheri Pierson Yecke, and celebrated educator and motivational speaker Samuel Betances.

“Each year Just Read, Florida! does an outstanding job of working with educators, community leaders, school administrators and reading experts to promote a more literate Florida,” said Commissioner Blomberg. “Conferences such as this allow these professionals to come together to share ideas and best practices for the greater good of our children.”

Established in 2001, Just Read, Florida! is a statewide initiative that has helped to make reading a priority in Florida's public schools and among the community groups and volunteer organizations that support them. The primary goal of Just Read, Florida! is to ensure every school-aged child is able to read at or above grade level by 2012. The initiative has helped school districts implement researched-based reading programs and strategies to improve student learning. For more information on Just Read, Florida!, please visit www.justreadflorida.com.

The Just Read, Florida! 2007 Leadership Conference will be held:

August 5-8
Rosen Shingle Creek Resort
9939 Universal Boulevard
Orlando, FL