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PRESS RELEASE

April 11, 2008

Tom Butler
(850) 245-0413

Education Commissioner Smith Recognizes Florida’s Outstanding Business Partners
~ Awards ceremony honors Florida businesses for their commitment to education ~

TALLAHASSEE - More than 80 of Florida’s top business partners were honored by Education Commissioner Eric J. Smith at the 21st Annual Commissioner’s Business Recognition Awards ceremony in Jacksonville last night. Sponsored by the Florida Education Foundation, the awards ceremony salutes businesses throughout the state that have shown a commitment to improving the academic success of all students.

“The support of these businesses is having a direct impact on the educational advancement of Florida’s students,” said Commissioner Smith. “I applaud them for taking such a vested interest in the lives of our children and ensuring their continued progress towards a bright and successful future.”

Universal Orlando® Resort received the top honor of the evening when it was presented with the “Commissioner’s Statewide Award of Distinction” for its outstanding contributions to education and educators statewide. The company partnered with the Florida Education Foundation to offer Florida’s public school employees complimentary admission and discounted guest tickets to both Universal Studios® and Islands of Adventure® to show its appreciation for their hard work. Two dollars for each guest ticket purchased was donated to the Florida Education Foundation to recruit new teachers and support statewide educational initiatives. To date, more than $150,000 has been received.

Universal Orlando® Resort also offers one-of-a-kind educational programs for students, covering subjects such as math, technology, science and career skills, at their Florida theme parks.

The 21st Annual 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 alliances for the benefit of Florida’s students.

For a list of the businesses honored during the ceremony, visit Business Award Winners (Word). To learn more about how businesses are contributing to education in Florida, visit http://www.floridaeducationfoundation.org.