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Press Release

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

DOE Press Office
(850) 245-0413

2012 Summer Literacy Adventure Continues at John D. MacArthur Beach State Park

- High expectations for a safe and productive school year -

Tallahassee, Fla., Aug. 7, 2012 - While enjoying the scenic view of the lush tropical coastal hammocks and mangrove forests of John D. MacArthur Beach State Park in North Palm Beach, First Lady Ann Scott shared her passion for literacy with students visiting the park's Environmental Education Center. Mrs. Scott was joined by representatives from the Florida Department of Education and the Florida Department of Environmental Protection to promote the 2012 Summer Literacy Adventure and advance the reading skills of children exploring the park's unique biological treasures.

"Florida state parks provide an incredible 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. There is still time for students to make their summer reading pledge by visiting the Just Read, Florida! website to sign up. 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.

"Florida's state park system offers the perfect settings for families and friends to share the power of reading," said Florida Park Service Director Donald Forgione. "Our 171 properties statewide create an atmosphere where imagination and creativity are strengthened by the surrounding nature and combined they can create a reading experience unlike any other for a child."

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 more than half of our nation's students.

"Research suggests that students who read during the summer break are better prepared for the upcoming school year." said Patrick Cucci, Director of Community and District-Wide Partnerships for Scholastic. "Children's lives are enriched when they are surrounded by a wide variety of reading materials."

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