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Press Release

Monday, January 28, 2013

DOE Press Office
850-245-0413

Florida Students Crush 2012 Reading Record

- Students read more than seven million more minutes in 2013 competition -

Tallahassee, Fla., January 28, 2013 - Schools across the state are celebrating student reading success. Students and teachers committed to reading more than 30 million minutes combined on January 14 as part of the 5th annual Celebrate Literacy Week, Florida's Million Minute Marathon. Students shattered the 2012 record of reading 23 million minutes with a final total of nearly 30.1 million minutes, a number allowing them to surpass their 30 million minute goal.

"Research shows students who read just 20 minutes extra every day become stronger students in school," said Just Read, Florida! Deputy Director Kevin Smith. "The ability to read and comprehend is critical to the mission of the Department of Education and why Celebrate Literacy Week and the Million Minute Marathon are so very important."

An estimated 1.5 million students from 58 school districts and seven Early Learning Coalitions participated in the competition. Students were encouraged to read an extra 20 minutes during the day beyond their regular schoolwork in celebration of literacy. The program is used as a tool to motivate students to find enjoyment in reading. They are allowed to choose a book, magazine, blog site, or newspaper article that interests them to rack up their minutes.

"Motivating students can be challenging, and Celebrate Literacy Week and the Million Minute Marathon are just one of the many ways the Just Read, Florida! office helps students and districts in the quest for success in reading," Smith added.

For more information on Just Read, Florida!, click here.