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Press Release

Thursday, July 11, 2013

DOE Press Office
850-245-0413

Summer Literacy Adventure Comes Alive at Washington Oaks Gardens State Park

~ First Lady reads to students to promote literacy ~

Tallahassee, Fla., July 11, 2013 - Florida First Lady Ann Scott embarked on another Summer Literacy Adventure today by reading Dr. Seuss' The Lorax to a group of students from Wadsworth Elementary School in Flagler County.

Mrs. Scott encouraged students to keep reading during the summer months and challenged them to sign up for the Summer Literacy Adventure Pledge to read as many books as possible over the summer. She was joined by representatives from the Florida Department of Education and the Florida Department of Environmental Protection.

"Reading and literacy is such a vital part of our everyday lives," said Mrs. Scott. "The Summer Literacy Adventure gives students the opportunity to get active and have a real-life literary journey."

Washington Oaks Gardens State Park is known for its beautiful coquina rock formations along the shoreline, and numerous oak trees that tower throughout more than 20 acres of the park's gardens.

"Working with Florida's First Lady Ann Scott to inspire young people to read gives me great joy," said Florida Park Service Director Donald Forgione. "Children should spend their summers exploring - through books and in nature - and take their adventures back to the classroom in the fall."

The 2013 Summer Literacy Adventure helps motivate children while keeping them excited about reading and literacy. Experts and educators agree that children of all ages need to be read to, read by themselves and talk about the books they have read during the summer. Reading and book discussions help maintain literacy skills, improve reading fluency and provide the opportunity to learn new vocabulary and concepts. Most importantly, when parents and children enjoy reading together, children develop a love of books and literacy that lasts a lifetime.

Students can fill out their Summer Literacy Adventure Pledge form on the Just Read, Florida! website. At the end of the summer, the school with the most pledges will receive admission passes for each student to any state park, good for up to eight people. The school will also receive a special visit from Mrs. Scott in the fall.

Students who take the reading pledge may 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 books.

For more information, visit 2013 Summer Literacy Adventure.