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Press Release

Friday, June 27, 2008

Tom Butler
(850) 245-0413

Seventh Annual Just Read, Florida! K-12 Leadership Conference Draws Record Breaking Attendance
Reading experts throughout the state gather to discuss literacy strategies and best practices

ORLANDO — More than 5,000 reading coaches, literacy experts, educators, school administrators and state and national leaders will converge Monday, at the seventh annual Just Read, Florida! K-12 Leadership Conference in Orlando, Florida, to share best practices in the latest in reading instructional strategies. This year’s attendance marks the largest crowd ever for the event, surpassing last year’s total by more than 600 attendees. Dignitaries participating in the conference include State Board of Education Chairman T. Willard Fair, Education Commissioner Dr. Eric J. Smith, Public Schools Chancellor Dr. Frances Haithcock, and Just Read, Florida! Executive Director Dr. Evan Lefsky.

“The decade-long strides made as a state in the area of reading, and literacy as a whole, are remarkable,” said Commissioner Smith. “These successes do not occur in a vacuum. They occur when dedicated individuals come together to share innovative ideas and best practices for the greater good of our children.”

Sponsored by the Florida Education Foundation, the K-12 Leadership Conference features presentations by state and national leaders, accomplished authors, reading experts, literacy professionals and prominent educators. The four-day conference includes more than 300 sessions, led by principals, educators, professionals and reading coaches from across the state. Additional guest speakers include celebrated authors and motivational speakers Dr. Lorraine Monroe and Dr. William L. McBride.

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 the seventh annual Just Read, Florida! K-12 Leadership Conference, visit http://www.justreadflorida.com/conference.

The conference will be held:

June 29 – July 2
Orlando World Center Marriott Resort
8701 World Center Drive
Orlando