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Press Release

Friday, January 17, 2014

DOE Press Office

First Lady Ann Scott Concludes Statewide Literacy Tour

~ Winners of Celebrate Literacy Week, Florida! public service announcement contest revealed at Kennedy Space Center ~

Tallahassee, Fla., January 17, 2014 - First Lady Ann Scott and the Florida Department of Education wrapped up her statewide literacy tour highlighting the 6th annual Celebrate Literacy Week, Florida! The week's activities culminated with a ceremony at the Kennedy Space Center on Thursday where Mrs. Scott recognized the winners of the public service announcement (PSA) contest and presented students with their awards and prizes.

"Celebrate Literacy Week, Florida! provided many wonderful and interactive opportunities for our students, parents and schools to get excited about reading," said First Lady Ann Scott. "I encourage parents to maintain good reading habits with their children all year round so they become lifelong readers and learners."

To compete in the contest, students created a short video focused on this year's theme "Reading Accelerates Success." Winners were chosen at elementary, middle and high school levels, with the winning schools awarded prizes sponsored by the Florida Education Foundation - $1,000 for first place, $500 for second place, and $250 for third place. The winning PSAs are featured on the Department of Education's website and social media pages. Representatives from the Florida Lottery, Scholastic, Novachi, National Geographic and many other education partners came together to sponsor the event.

The winners of the 2014 Celebrate Literacy Week, Florida! statewide PSA contest are:

Elementary Schools
  • 1st Place: Saturn Elementary, Brevard Public Schools
  • 2nd Place: Diplomat Elementary, Lee County Public Schools
  • 3rd Place: Liberty Pines Elementary, St. Johns County School District
Middle Schools
  • 1st Place: Meigs Middle School, Okaloosa County School District
  • 2nd Place: Dunnellon Middle School, Marion County Public Schools
  • 3rd Place: Anderson Middle School, Martin County School District
High Schools
  • 1st Place: Bartram High School, St. Johns County School District
  • 2nd Place: Providence Christian School, Hillsborough County Public Schools
  • 3rd Place: Niceville High School, Okaloosa County School District

First Lady Ann Scott kicked off the week at American Senior High School in Hialeah on Monday where she led students in the Million Minute Marathon, a special program that encourages students to read for an additional 20 minutes a day during the school day in celebration of literacy. The goal for 2014 is 33 million minutes, up from the 2013 goal of 30 million minutes. The results will be tallied and submitted by district reading contacts to the Department of Education's Just Read, Florida! Office.

Traveling more than 780 miles in five days, Mrs. Scott spoke to more than 1,000 students throughout the week to promote the importance of reading and to inspire students and their families to set aside time to read together.

As part of Celebrate Literacy Week, Florida!, the Just Read, Florida! Office teamed up with the Florida Lottery and other education partners to bring portable planetariums to elementary and middle schools in Florida.

"I am thankful to our many education partners who helped make Celebrate Literacy Week, Florida! a huge success," said Commissioner of Education Pam Stewart. "Through their support, we were able to inspire thousands of students across the state to make reading a part of their daily lives, which will help them be successful in college, career and life."

"The Florida Lottery is proud to once again support this year's Celebrate Literacy Week, Florida!," said Lottery Secretary Cynthia O'Connell. "We have contributed more than $26 billion towards education in Florida since 1988 and we remain a committed partner in strengthening our education system."

Additionally, volunteers organized by Florida Blue, Florida Department of Health and local communities read an original comic book, "Iron Man and Habit Heroes," to children in thousands of third, fourth and fifth grade classrooms throughout the state.

"Healthy children are vital for the future of Florida," said State Surgeon General and Secretary of Health Dr. John Armstrong. "If kids can learn about healthy eating and regular activity now, they will be on course for better health for the rest of their lives."

The goal of Celebrate Literacy Week, Florida! is to promote literacy throughout the state by raising awareness of the programs and projects offered by the Department of Education and its partner agencies and organizations. For more information about Celebrate Literacy Week, Florida!, visit Just Read, Florida!