Return to Normal View

DOE Homepage Students Educators Community Family Administrators and Staff MyFlorida.com

Florida Department of Education

DOE Home > Media Room

Media Room

 

  Media Room  

Text Index Google Custom Search

Press Release

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Michael Goodman, Kelley Redman
Bitner Goodman
954-730-7730 ext. 105, ext. 121

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

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

Miami, FL (January 19, 2011) — 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:

  • Coral Square (Coral Springs): Saturday, March 19 from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.
  • Dadeland Mall (Miami): Friday, February 11 from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.
  • Melbourne Square (Melbourne): Saturday, March 12 from 10 a.m. to noon
  • Miami International Mall (Miami): Saturday, March 12 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Seminole Towne Center (Sanford): Saturday, March 19 from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.
  • The Falls (Miami): Saturday, February 12 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Tyrone Square (St. Petersburg): Saturday, March 5 from noon to 2 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. In addition, select book blast events will also feature the Florida Department of Education’s “Find a Book, Florida,” tool, created by MetaMetrics, that will help attendees locate new and intriguing books tailored to their own reading interests based upon the attendee’s reading ability.

A two-week book drive will commence at each mall’s “Kidgits Book Blast.” Families are encouraged to donate new and/or gently-used books at each of the seven participating mall’s Guest Services Desks for two weeks after the 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.

“For the second year in a row, Simon Property Group is proud to work 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 Stu Greenberg, executive director, Just Read, Florida! and the Office of Early Learning. “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. 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 www.simon.com/kidgits.

Simon Property Group
Simon Property Group, Inc. is an S&P 500 company and the largest real estate company in the U.S. The Company currently owns or has an interest in 393 retail real estate properties comprising 264 million square feet of gross leasable area in North America, Europe and Asia. Simon Property Group is headquartered in Indianapolis, Indiana and employs more than 5,000 people worldwide. The Company's common stock is publicly traded on the NYSE under the symbol SPG. For further information, visit the Simon Property Group website at www.simon.com.