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Press Release

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

DOE Press Office
(850) 245-0413

First Lady Ann Scott Takes Summer Literacy Adventure to the Suwannee River

~ Florida springs offer unique setting to encourage children to read during the break ~

TALLAHASSEE - The crystal clear springs and majestic manatees were just a few of the Florida treasures that highlighted First Lady Ann Scott's visit to Fanning Springs State Park today during her Summer Literacy Adventure. Mrs. Scott was joined by representatives of the Florida Department of Education (DOE), the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and the Florida Department of State (DOS), in advancing the literacy skills of students in the surrounding region during the summer break.

"The adventures this summer have been plentiful, and reading and literacy have helped our students use their imagination to journey to so many places," said First Lady Ann Scott. "Fanning Springs State Park is a great area to explore and learn about our state's precious resources, and I'm thrilled to share in the Summer Literacy Adventure with students in the region."

Students can visit the Just Read, Florida! website at www.justreadflorida.com to participate in the Summer Literacy Adventure. A select school with the most participating students taking the pledge in the 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.

"We're so glad to have been a part of this educational adventure with the First Lady encouraging children to read outdoors," said Florida State Parks Director Donald Forgione. "Fanning Springs provides a great location for reading on hot days, just set your book down and jump in the cool spring waters."

Any student who takes the pledge may also utilize a free online tool to search for books based on 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 more than half of U.S. students.

The Florida 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 local county public library staff was also on hand to share information on DOS's Florida Library Youth Program, which 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.

For more information on Florida's State Parks, visit www.FloridaStateParks.org, www.twitter.com/FLStateParks and www.facebook.com/FLStateParks. To participate in the Summer Literacy Adventure, visit www.justreadflorida.com.