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Press Release

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Governor’s Press Office
(850) 488-5394

Governor Crist Participates In Worldwide Read for the Record Event
~ Communities around the globe come together to promote the joys of reading ~

ORLANDO – Governor Charlie Crist today visited with Lake Vista Elementary students to help promote the importance of literacy through the worldwide Read for the Record event. As a part of this special event, Governor Crist sat down with students, including kindergartener Jona Meier, who treated him to a reading of the book, The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle. Lt. Governor Jeff Kottkamp also participated in the event, reading to a classroom at Astoria Park Elementary School in Tallahassee. Read for the Record unites teachers, public officials, authors, parents and students from around the globe to emphasize the need for continued support for literacy programming.

“The Read for the Record event helps call attention to the importance of reading in our lives and the critical role it plays in the successful education of our students,” said Governor Crist. “Every book parents read aloud with their children can have a profound impact on their future and serves as an opportunity to share and appreciate the gift of literacy and each other.”

In honor of the worldwide literacy campaign, Governor Crist signed a proclamation observing October 8, 2009, as Florida Read for the Record Day, encouraging Floridians to participate by reading The Very Hungry Caterpillar to a child. Launched in 2006, the Read for the Record campaign is an international initiative that encourages children of all ages to read the same book, on the same day, in communities around the world. Last year’s campaign broke the previous world record with nearly 700,000 readers from across the globe who all shared the classic children's tale, Corduroy by Don Freeman.

“The joy of reading is something that can be cherished and appreciated for a lifetime,” said Lt. Governor Jeff Kottkamp. “By raising awareness of the importance of reading in our everyday lives, we are empowering our future leaders and improving our state for generations to come.”

The award-winning book The Very Hungry Caterpillar, currently celebrating its 40th anniversary, was chosen as the 2009 Read for the Record book for its world-wide popularity. An estimated 100,000 Florida students are expected to participate in this year’s campaign, targeted to prekindergarten and kindergarten students, in schools and libraries across the state.

“It’s truly encouraging to see so many communities and individuals embrace this wonderful event and help spread the joy that reading brings into our lives,” said Education Commissioner Dr. Eric J. Smith. “I hope this is a record that continues to be broken for years to come as we work to introduce more of our young people to such a core element of academic success.”

To learn more about Read for the Record, visit www.readfortherecord.org.