For Immediate Release: Sept. 1, 2011
CELEBRATE SEPTEMBER AS FLORIDA LITERACY MONTH IN A STATE PARK
~Enjoy state park events throughout September and free entry on Sunday, Sept. 11, with a library card, library book or book donation~
Children read in the shade at Alfred B. Maclay Gardens State Park in Tallahassee.
TALLAHASSEE – In honor of Florida Governor Rick Scott signing a proclamation designating September as Florida Literacy Month, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection’s (DEP) Florida Park Service will celebrate with special events at state parks and libraries statewide. The fifth annual Florida Literacy Month will be celebrated in conjunction with International Literacy Day on Sept. 8 and National Library Card Signup Month. Florida’s state parks will offer free* entrance on Sunday, Sept. 11 to visitors who bring a library card, library book or who donate a new or gently-used, family-friendly book.
“We’re excited to celebrate literacy in state parks for the fifth year in a row,” said DEP’s Florida Park Service Director Donald Forgione. “State parks are the best spot to curl up with a good book and enjoy the great outdoors, reconnect to nature through a story or meet up with your book club for a picnic.”
The Florida Park Service, Department of Education and Department of State will partner again this year to get the message out about the importance of literacy at all ages. Florida’s First Lady Ann Scott will continue to emphasize reading following her Summer Literacy Adventure during an event in Tallahassee celebrating International Literacy Day at Alfred B. Maclay Gardens State Park on Thursday, Sept. 8.
“Florida Literacy Month serves as an excellent reminder to share our passion for reading with family and friends,” said Florida Education Commissioner Gerard Robinson. “Venues as beautiful as our state parks can serve as imaginative backdrops for our students to further their literacy skills, and I applaud the Florida Department of Environmental Protection for their continued partnership in the education of our students.”
Many state parks will host literacy-related events from book giveaways to reading with a park ranger and even reciting poetry. Last year, 35 literacy events were held in Florida State Parks. To find a literacy event near you, visit the events calendar
on the Florida State Parks Online Park Guide. During last year’s Florida Literacy Month, more than 17,000 visitors showed their library book or library card, or donated one of nearly 2,500 books to receive free entrance into a state park.
*Free admission to all Florida State Parks except Skyway Fishing Pier State Park in St. Petersburg.