First Lady Reading to Children at Fort George Island Cultural State Park

First Lady Ann Scott Makes Second Stop on Summer Literacy Adventure

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FIRST LADY ANN SCOTT MAKES SECOND STOP ON SUMMER LITERACY ADVENTURE

TALLAHASSEE, Fla., July 8, 2014 – Florida’s First Lady Ann Scott made her second stop of the 2014 Summer Literacy Adventure today First Lady Reading to Children at Fort George Island Cultural State Park at Fort George Island Cultural State Park in Duval County. During her visit, she read The Sea, the Storm, and the Mangrove Tangle by Lynne Cherry to more than 70 summer camp students. This is the First Lady’s fourth consecutive year participating in the Summer Literacy Adventure.

“With a book, you can go anywhere and become anyone you could imagine,” said First Lady Ann Scott. “I hope all Florida students will find time this summer to take an exciting adventure through reading.”

First Lady 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. She was joined by representatives from the Florida Department of Education and the Florida Department of Environmental Protection.

A site of human occupation for more than 5,000 years, Fort George Island was named for a 1736 fort built to defend the southern flank of Georgia when it was a colony. Today, visitors come for boating, fishing, off-road bicycling and hiking. A key attraction is the restored Ribault Club.

“It is my pleasure to welcome children and First Lady Ann Scott to Fort George Island Cultural State Park to share the joy of reading,” said Donald Forgione, director of the Florida Park Service. “Bridging the summer learning gap is important to keep children achieving in the classroom, and the state parks are a great place for kids to explore and continue learning through the summer months.”

The 2014 Summer Literacy Adventure helps keep Florida students excited about reading and literacy. Research shows that children who do not continue reading through the summer can lose a month or more of progress made during the school year. By encouraging their children to read, parents play an important role in ensuring every child reads at or above grade level.

“We must read to children of all ages, have them read by themselves and talk about the books they have read during the summer,” said Education Commissioner Pam Stewart. “Summer reading and book discussions will help maintain reading skills, improve reading fluency and provide the opportunity to learn new vocabulary and concepts. Most importantly, when parents and children enjoy summer reading together, children develop a love of books and reading that lasts a lifetime.”

The Florida Lottery generously donated books to all students in attendance at today’s event.

“Supporting education is the Florida Lottery’s top priority,” said Lottery Secretary Cynthia O’Connell. “Programs like the Summer Literacy Adventure take our students on a learning journey that leads them to a brighter future.”

Students can fill out their Summer Literacy Adventure Pledge form at www.JustReadFamilies.org. At the start of 2014 – 2015 academic year, First Lady Scott will visit the school whose students successfully completed the most pledges.

For more information, visit 2014 Summer Literacy Adventure.

In photo: First Lady Ann Scott reading to children at Fort George Island Cultural State Park.

For more information about the Florida Department of Education, visit www.fldoe.org.

For more information about Florida State Parks visit, www.floridastateparks.org.

CONTACT:
FLORIDA DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION
PRESS OFFICE
850-245-0413

 

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