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Press Release

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

DOE Press Office
(850) 245-0413

2012 Summer Literacy Adventure Continues at Wekiwa Springs State Park

Tallahassee, Fla., July 17, 2012 - Surrounded by the headwaters of the Wekiva River, First Lady Ann Scott today continued the 2012 Summer Literacy Adventure at Wekiwa Springs State Park in Apopka by reading to students attending the Wekiva Youth Camp. Mrs. Scott was joined by representatives from the Florida Department of Education and the Florida Department of Environmental Protection to promote the Summer Literacy Adventure Pledge and advance the reading skills of children attending the summer day camp.

"Florida state parks provide a wonderful environment for children and families to discover nature and have fun," said Mrs. Scott. "I want to challenge all of Florida's students to join me in reading as many books as possible during the summer break and take the Summer Literacy Adventure Pledge."

The 2012 Summer Literacy Adventure is geared to help motivate and excite children about reading and literacy. Studies have shown that students who read throughout the year are better able to retain the knowledge and continue to learn. Each student can fill out their reading pledge on the Just Read, Florida! website. At the end of the summer, the department will tally which schools have the most participants. The winning school will be announced in the fall and will receive free passes to any Florida State Park.

Students who take the pledge may also utilize a free online tool to search for books based on their reading ability and interests. MetaMetrics offers a unique resource called "Find a Book, Florida" that uses Lexile measures, a widely adopted reading metric, that can guide a reader to the appropriate level book. Each year, more than 30 million Lexile measures are reported from reading assessments and programs-representing over half of our nation's students.

"To combat the negative effects of summer loss, it is imperative that students read over the summer. MetaMetrics, in conjunction with the Florida Department of Education, is pleased to offer our "Find a Book, Florida" resource to allow students, teachers, and educators to build personalized reading lists based on interest and reading level," said MetaMetrics President and co-founder Malbert Smith III, Ph.D. "Building upon the success of the Find a Book tool, this year we have added a feature that allows individuals to personally pledge their commitment to read. I've committed to read five books this summer, I encourage everyone to pledge by visiting www.lexile.com/fab/fl."

For more information about the 2012 Summer Literacy Adventure, visit http://www.justreadflorida.com/pdf/SummerReadingAdventure2012.pdf (PDF).

The Department's Just Read, Florida! Office offers a 2012 Summer Recommended Reading List. To learn about these resources, visit www.justreadflorida.com.

To view photos of today's event, please visit http://www.facebook.com/FLAnnScott. To learn more about First Lady Ann Scott, follow her on twitter at @FLANNSCOTT.