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Press Release

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

DOE Press Office
(850) 245-0413

Florida’s Top Education Business Partner for 2009 Announced
~ Award honors AT&T for the company’s superior commitment to student learning ~

Tampa –Department of Education Commissioner Dr. Eric J. Smith, along with Florida Education Foundation Chairman Alan J. Levy and members of the State Board of Education today presented AT&T Florida President Marshall M. Criser III., with the “Commissioner’s Statewide Award of Distinction” for his company’s outstanding contributions to education statewide. Sponsored by the Florida Education Foundation, the Commissioner’s Business Recognition Awards saluted more than 70 businesses throughout the state for their commitment to improving the academic success of all students.

“AT&T’s contributions to education are unparalleled and it’s my honor to recognize them with this award of distinction,” said Commissioner Smith. “Only through their efforts, and the efforts of all our business partners, can we hope to continue the tremendous progress that we have achieved over the last decade.”

The Commissioner’s Business Recognition Awards are administered by the Florida Department of Education and the Florida Education Foundation to encourage successful alliances for the benefit of Florida’s students. This year, the AT&T Foundation awarded a $525,000 grant to the Florida Education Foundation to supply laptops to select elementary schools across the state as part of the state’s new reading assessment. AT&T also developed a partnership to donate a portion of new wireless activations in Florida to support ongoing educational initiatives.

For 25 years, AT&T and the AT&T Foundation have been committed to advancing education, strengthening communities and improving lives. Through their philanthropic initiatives and partnerships, AT&T supports projects that create learning opportunities, promote academic and economic achievement, and address community needs.

Under the leadership of Chairman Levy and its board of directors, the Florida Education Foundation promotes and supports academic excellence for pre-kindergarten through 12th grade students in Florida. Additionally, the foundation recognizes outstanding teachers and educational contributors, develops strategic alliances with business organizations and advances statewide educational goals.

For a list of the businesses honored during the ceremony, visit http://www.fldoe.org/news/2009/2009_05_19/LocalBPWinnersminichart.doc (Word, 104KB). To learn more about how businesses are contributing to education in Florida, visit http://www.floridaeducationfoundation.org.