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Press Release

Friday, January 29, 2010

Michael Goodman, Ashley Sugarman
Bitner Goodman
(954) 730-7730 ext. 105, ext. 123

Simon Malls in Florida Promote Literacy at “Book Blast” in Partnership with the Florida Department of Education

~ Seven Florida malls to host FREE family events and launch book drive ~

MIAMI, FL (January 28, 2010) — Reading is the most powerful skill a child can learn, as it influences success in school and improves the overall quality of life. That’s why seven leading malls across the state of Florida, owned by Simon Property Group, will promote the importance of reading and collect new and gently-used books at each mall’s “Kidgits Book Blast” event that will take place on the following dates:

  • Seminole Towne Center (Sanford): Saturday, February 13 from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.
  • The Falls (Miami): Saturday, February 13 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Miami International Mall (Miami): Saturday, February 13 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Dadeland Mall (Miami): Friday, February 19 from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.
  • Tyrone Square (St. Petersburg): Saturday, February 20 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
  • Melbourne Square (Melbourne): Saturday, February 27 from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m.
  • Coral Square (Coral Springs): Saturday, March 6 from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.

Simon Kidgits Club’s “Book Blast” events welcome children of all ages to celebrate the joys of reading. Engaging activities and giveaways will bring to life children’s stories and help celebrate books and the importance of reading.

A two-week book drive will commence at each mall’s “Kidgits Book Blast.” Families are encouraged to donate new and gently-used books at each of the seven participating mall’s Guest Services Desks for two weeks after the “Kidgits Book Blast” events. The books will support the goals of The Florida Department of Education’s “Just Read, Florida!” initiative and will be distributed to programs and schools in the vicinity of the participating mall through donations to the Florida Education Foundation.

“Simon Property Group is proud to partner with The Florida Department of Education’s Just Read, Florida! office to encourage and promote reading,” said Lynnette Lauria, portfolio vice president of marketing for Florida, Simon Property Group. “We recognize the importance of reading and are thrilled that our malls will serve as a venue to drop off books, as we continue to look for ways to encourage children to share the joy of reading with others.”

Just Read, Florida! is a statewide reading initiative that prioritizes reading in Florida's public schools and among all the community groups and volunteer organizations that support them. The overarching goal of the initiative is that all children will be reading on grade level by 2012. Children who have a variety of books to read stand a better chance of accomplishing this goal.

“Reading and literacy serve as the foundation of all learning,” says Barbara Elzie, Interim Executive Director of Just Read, Florida. “It is our hope that this event will inspire children to learn to read and read well so that they can excel in life and achieve their dreams. The Just Read, Florida! initiative is helping to ensure a brighter future for all the children in Florida.”

The Simon Kidgits Club’s “Book Blast” event is free to all members of the public; however families can sign up for the Kidgits Club, during regular mall hours, for a membership fee of $5. Membership includes a Kidgits Club membership card and T-shirt, scheduled entertainment and activities for families, a Birthday Club (including birthday card and gift redemption certificate), unique programs and offers, discounts and a quarterly newsletter. For more information, visit

About Simon Property Group
Simon Property Group, Inc. is an S&P 500 company and the largest public U.S. real estate company. Simon is a fully integrated real estate company which operates from five retail real estate platforms: regional malls, Premium Outlet Centers®, The Mills®, community/lifestyle centers and international properties. It currently owns or has an interest in 385 properties comprising 262 million square feet of gross leasable area in North America, Europe and Asia. The Company is headquartered in Indianapolis, Indiana and employs more than 5,000 people worldwide. Simon Property Group, Inc. is publicly traded on the NYSE under the symbol SPG. For further information, visit the Company's website at