FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Aug. 5, 2014
CONTACT: Florida Department of Education Press Office, 850.245.0413, DOEPressOffice@FLDOE.org
FIRST LADY CONCLUDES 2014 SUMMER LITERACY ADVENTURE AT WEKIWA SPRINGS STATE PARK IN APOPKA
First Lady Ann Scott reads to students at Wekiwa Springs State Park.
TALLAHASSEE – With Wekiva River as the backdrop, Florida First Lady Ann Scott read Planting the Wild Garden by Kathryn O. Galbraith to 35 students today at Wekiwa Springs State Park in Apopka for the final stop on her 2014 Summer Literacy Adventure.
"Reading has always been an important part of my life,” Mrs. Scott said. “We know that children who continue to engage in reading over the summer will retain more of what they learned during the school year. Families can enjoy reading in Florida’s beautiful state parks while learning interactively.”
She was joined by representatives from the Florida Department of Education, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, the Florida Lottery, the Florida Legislature, Apopka’s Mayor’s Office, Seminole County School Board and the Early Learning Coalition of Seminole County.
Located at the headwaters of the Wekiva River, the vistas within this park offer a glimpse of what Central Florida looked like many decades ago. Just one hour from most Central Florida attractions, Wekiwa Springs offers visitors the opportunity to relax in a natural setting, enjoy a picnic or swim in the cool spring.
“I am pleased to welcome children and First Lady Ann Scott to Wekiwa Springs State Park to share the joy of reading,” said Donald Forgione, director of the Florida Park Service. “Reading over the summer is one of the most important things a child can do to keep skills sharp. Back to school time is right around the corner.”
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.
"I want to thank Mrs. Scott for her commitment to reading and helping students boost their literacy skills," said Commissioner of Education Pam Stewart. "Strong reading skills are the foundation needed to learn every other subject. When students read regularly, they gain confidence and ultimately do better in school and in life."
The Florida Lottery generously donated books to all students in attendance at today’s event.
“On behalf of the Florida Lottery, we are pleased to support the 2014 Summer Literacy Adventure,” said Secretary Cynthia O’Connell. “Reading can open up new worlds and spark a lifetime love for learning.”
Students can still 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.