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Press Release

Thursday, January 30, 2014

DOE Press Office

Florida Students Surpass 2014 Reading Goal

- Students read more than three million more minutes than anticipated -

Tallahassee, Fla., January 30, 2014 - Schools across the state are celebrating student reading success. Students and teachers committed to reading more than 33 million minutes combined on January 13 as part of the 6th annual Celebrate Literacy Week, Florida!'s Million Minute Marathon. With a final total of reading more than 35 million minutes, students shattered the 2013 record of nearly 30.1 million minutes - a number allowing them to surpass the original goal for this year.

"This achievement proves students and teachers in Florida can get excited about literacy," said Florida First Lady Ann Scott. "I hope teachers and parents use this momentum to instill a lifelong love of reading in children across the Sunshine State."

"Children who learn to enjoy reading are proven to be more successful in the classroom, making them more likely to graduate high school, college and career ready," said Commissioner of Education Pam Stewart. "I want to thank our teachers for taking the time to participate in the Million Minute Marathon and Celebrate Literacy Week, Florida! in an effort to foster the love of reading in our students."

An estimated 1.2 million students from 59 school districts and three 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.

"The results from this year's Million Minute Marathon prove that our Florida students can rise to a challenge," said Just Read, Florida! Executive Director Wendy Stevens. "The overwhelming participation confirms the Celebrate Literacy Week, Florida's theme, 'Reading Accelerates Success!'"

For more information on Just Read, Florida!