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Press Release

Monday, January 26, 2009

DOE Press Office
(850) 245-0413

Department of Education Recommends Reading List for Black History Month
~ Selection of books highlights the rich history of African-Americans ~

TALLAHASSEE – In celebration of Black History Month this February, the Department of Education’s Just Read, Florida! Office today released a recommended reading list which showcases a broad selection of African-American authors and their literary creations. Students and families across the state are encouraged to explore these selections during Black History Month and throughout the year in order to develop a greater understanding of the many contributions of African-American culture to our society.

“Reading is the basis of learning and serves as a continuing source of discovery throughout our lives,” said Department of Education Commissioner Eric J. Smith. “This year’s Black History Month reading list contains many inspirational selections that are sure to captivate readers of all ages."

To view this year's Black History Month Recommended Reading List, visit The reading list provides a wide variety of suggested books for students of all ages and grade levels. The Web site also offers tools for parents to help nurture a reading friendly environment at home. Resources available online include links to county and municipal public libraries, and tips for parents on reading with their children.

In addition to the Black History Month reading list, Governor Charlie Crist announced an art contest for students in kindergarten through third grade and an essay contest for students in grades four through twelve in celebration of Black History Month. Additionally, parents, teachers and principals are encouraged to nominate full-time African-American educators in elementary, middle and high schools for the Black History Month Excellence in Education Award. Complete details about each of these worthwhile activities can be found at

Just Read, Florida! makes reading a priority in Florida's public schools and among the community groups and volunteer organizations that support them. For more information about the Department of Education’s Just Read, Florida! office, visit