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Press Release

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

DOE Press Office
(850) 245-0413

DEP Press Office
(850) 245-2112

Summer Literacy Adventure Springs to Life in Wakulla

~ Florida's First Lady encourages students to take the pledge and read during summer break ~

TALLAHASSEE - With crystal clear springs in the background and Florida alligators sunning on the shorelines, Florida First Lady Ann Scott met with students today at Wakulla Springs to encourage participation in the Summer Literacy Adventure. Mrs. Scott was joined by the Florida Department of Education (DOE), Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and the Florida Department of State (DEP) in hosting students from the Tallahassee and Wakulla regions to invite them to read throughout the summer break.

"Florida state parks offer wonderful opportunities for children and families to explore and have fun," said First Lady Ann Scott. "I want to challenge all Floridians to read as many books as they can this summer. Read indoors and outdoors, or read books about nature, parks, and Florida history. I took the summer reading pledge, and you can too."

Studies have consistently shown that students who read throughout the year are better able to retain their knowledge and continue to learn. To participate in the Summer Literacy Adventure, students can visit the Just Read, Florida! website at www.justreadflorida.com to take the pledge. A select school with the most participating students in the Summer Literacy Adventure will be recognized during the 2011-12 school year, with all of its students winning a one-day pass to any Florida State Park.

"Student learning shouldn't stop during the summer months, and this is a great way for families to participate in the education process beyond the classroom," said Just Read, Florida! Executive Director Stuart Greenberg. "The Department is thrilled to have Mrs. Scott and our agency partners to help promote the importance of literacy year-round."

Students who take the pledge may also utilize a free online tool to search for books based on their reading ability and interests. The DOE, through MetaMetrics, offers a unique resource called "Find a Book, Florida" at http://florida.lexile.com that uses Lexile® measures, a widely adopted reading metric that can guide a reader to an appropriate level book. Each year, more than 30 million Lexile measures are reported from reading assessments and programs-representing over half of U.S. students.

"With unlimited shady spots and gorgeous scenery to spark the imagination, Wakulla Springs State Park is the ideal place to get immersed in a book," said Florida State Parks Director Donald Forgione. "This summer, we encourage students and families to discover the joy of reading in one of Florida's 160 awarding-winning State Parks."

For more information on Florida's State Parks, visit www.FloridaStateParks.org, www.twitter.com/FLStateParks and www.facebook.com/FLStateParks.

The Department of State also encourages students to read, and local public libraries throughout the state host a variety of programs during the summer to promote reading. The Department's Florida Library Youth Program enables participants of all ages to enjoy fun activities, special guest performances, presentations, crafts and more at various public libraries. Information on the locations of public libraries in Florida can be found at www.fllibraries.org.