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Press ReleaseWednesday, October 5, 2011
DOE Press Office
Florida's First Lady Announces Top Summer Literacy Adventure School~ Surprise visit recognizes students for their literacy commitment during the summer break ~
TALLAHASSEE - Florida's First Lady Ann Scott, along with the Florida Department's of Education, State and Environmental Protection, today announced that Reedy Creek Elementary School in Osceola County had the highest number of participating students in the Summer Literacy Adventure, with 478 children pledging to read 7,124 books. The Adventure was created as a way to encourage students to read and visit their local public libraries over the summer. Overall, more than 8,000 students statewide pledged to read a total of 101,261 books this summer as part of the Adventure.
"I am thrilled to honor Reedy Creek's students for their overwhelming participation in this year's Summer Literacy Adventure," said Mrs. Scott. "Reading and literacy serve as the cornerstone of education, and I hope our students continue to share their passion for reading throughout the school year."
The surprise announcement came as Mrs. Scott toured the school during a scheduled visit to meet with students and school staff. In honor of their accomplishment, Reedy Creek students also received free one-day passes to any Florida State Park from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection.
"I thank Mrs. Scott and our agency partners for their creative contributions to furthering the reading skills of students throughout the Sunshine State," said Florida Education Commissioner Gerard Robinson. "The Summer Literacy Adventure has been a great success and I look forward to engaging in more partnerships that are designed to drive student achievement forward and keep our children on track for success."
Throughout the summer, Mrs. Scott visited and read to students at 17 different locations, including state parks, local public libraries and the Governor's mansion. A few of the stops included Ruediger Elementary School in Leon County, Ponte Vedra Beach Library in St. Johns County, Greenwood Lakes Middle School in Seminole County, Coral Park Elementary School in Miami-Dade County, Edward Ball Wakulla Springs State Park in Wakulla County, and Florida Caverns State Park in Jackson County, among others. In coordination with the First Lady's efforts, more than 920,000 people participated in summer reading programs in Florida public libraries.
"We have been honored to work with the First Lady to promote an initiative as important as literacy," said Secretary of State Kurt Browning. "Florida's public libraries are an ideal resource for children and adults alike to be entertained and educated through reading."
"It was such a pleasure to partner with First Lady Ann Scott this summer to promote literacy," said Florida Park Service Director Donald Forgione. "We encourage the students of Reedy Creek to visit a nearby state park to enjoy reading in nature."
To learn about literacy resources available through the Department of Education, visit the Just Read, Florida! website at www.justreadflorida.com. Public libraries throughout the state can also serve as a valuable tool during the school year, and locations for libraries may be found at www.fllibraries.org. In addition, the Florida State Parks can enhance the learning experience through exploration and discovery all year long. Learn more at www.dep.state.fl.us.