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Press ReleaseWednesday, September 8, 2010
DOE Press Office
Lt Governor Encourages Families to Share Love of Reading and Nature Year-Round~ State parks to offer free passes to celebrate Literacy Month ~
TALLAHASSEE – Amid the blossoming trees and flourishing flower beds of Maclay Gardens in Tallahassee, Lt. Governor Jeff Kottkamp today celebrated International Literacy Day as part of the Florida Departments of Education (DOE) and Environmental Protection’s (DEP) recognition of September as Literacy Month in the Sunshine State. In honor of the occasion, Florida’s state parks are offering citizens free entrance to any of their state parks from Friday, Sept. 10 through Sunday, Sept. 12. Participants need only bring a library card, a library book or donate a new or gently used family book in honor of family literacy.
“This joint celebration helps to remind us all that literacy and reading are critical to an individual’s livelihood, and I’m excited to share in this event with families in our region,” said Lt. Governor Kottkamp. “Our state parks continue to offer affordable recreational activities for all families to enjoy, and I encourage everyone to get outdoors and read to your loved ones.”
With more than 20 percent of Florida’s adults experiencing literacy issues that impact their families and their lives, Florida Literacy Month aims to help family members of all ages improve literacy skills to help build self-sufficiency. Research also shows that students who read throughout the year are able to retain their knowledge more effectively and continue to learn.
“Our job as educators is to provide as many learning opportunities as possible for our students, and this celebration is just one of the possibilities to bring reading and literacy to life,” says Public Schools Chancellor Dr. Frances Haithcock. “Reading a great book and sharing it with family and friends keeps the lesson personal and builds upon the very core of a student’s educational foundation.”
“I encourage Florida’s residents, students and guests to combine the joy of reading with the beauty of the outdoors,” said DEP Interim Secretary Mimi Drew. “Reading can take place in many settings beyond the classroom. Florida’s 160 state parks offer some of the most beautiful landscapes in the world. What better place to relax, read a book, explore nature and learn how to protect the environment.”
In addition to encouraging reading and literacy among all family members, today’s event also highlighted a unique tool re-launched this fall called “Find a Book, Florida.” Through “Find a Book, Florida,” students can locate new and intriguing books tailored to their own reading interests. Thousands of fiction and nonfiction books are available through the “Find a Book, Florida” online resource at http://florida.lexile.com, which helps to match a book’s text complexity with a student’s reading ability using Lexile® measures. Lexile measures are the most widely adopted reading metrics used in the country. Each year, more than 30 million Lexile measures are reported from reading assessments and programs—representing over half of U.S. students.
For more information about Florida Literacy Month, visit http://www.floridaliteracy.org/. To learn more about “Find a Book, Florida,” visit http://florida.lexile.com. To learn more about Florida State Parks, visit www.floridastateparks.org.