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Press Release

Monday, February 6, 2012

DOE Press Office
(850) 245-0413

Florida's Students Break Reading Record

- More than 23 million minutes tallied in this year's Million Minute Marathon -

Tallahassee - The Florida Department of Education is pleased to announce that participants of the Million Minute Marathon have broken last year's reading record of 16 million minutes with more than 23 million minutes tallied in 2012.

"I want to congratulate Florida's students for surpassing our ambitious goal of 20 million minutes and setting a distinguished record for 2012," said Education Commissioner Gerard Robinson. "Our students work hard every day and I applaud their valiant effort to make reading a priority."

As part of Celebrate Literacy Week, Florida!, students from across the state joined together to participate in the Million Minute Marathon. The marathon is a special program that encourages students to read for an additional 20 minutes during the school day in celebration of literacy. The Million Minute Marathon began in 2011 with students in the Sunshine State logging more than 16 million minutes of reading, exceeding the goal of 10 million minutes.

Additionally, through a new partnership with Daytona International Speedway, the Florida Lottery and other educational partners, the Just Read, Florida! office hosted reading events across the state including school visits with the "Take the Lead and Read" Race Car reaching more than 10,000 students in 12 school districts. Hundreds of volunteers representing Florida law enforcement, the Department of Health, and the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services participated in reading activities in local classrooms. The "Take the Lead and Read" Race Car will continue to tour the state through the first week of March 2012.

Celebrate Literacy Week, Florida! is a weeklong celebration from Jan. 23 - 27, 2012, geared toward raising awareness for literacy programs and projects offered by the DOE's Just Read, Florida! office and its partner agencies and organizations. The Department of Education actively works with community groups and volunteers throughout the state to make reading a priority in students' lives. For more information, visit www.justreadflorida.com.