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Just Read, Florida! is Florida’s comprehensive and coordinated reading initiative first implemented in 2001. Florida’s students are the winners:

FL Fourth Grade Reading Scores

The data in the graph above is from the National Assessment of Educational Progress; the graph is clipped from the video below where Florida’s Education Commissioner Pam Stewart celebrates the work of Fourth Grade students and teachers in achieving a #2 ranking on a worldwide reading test.

CNN Video Report

Each year the state hosts Celebrate Literacy Week, Florida!, which includes a video PSA contest, book drive donations, and literacy awards. Check out last year’s 3rd place entry in the video public service announcement competition to “promote the importance of literacy” and “Take the Lead and Read” created by Spessard Holland Elementary (Polk County):

What can you do to support reading in your local school?

Volunteer an hour of your day to read with a student.

Provide books to students in your community.

Introduce 6-8 Grade students to the Literacy League. This is a cool opportunity for students who participate to submit questions about a book either by e-mail or video and the questions are answered by the book’s author.

Follow the lead of author and humanitarian D. Byron Patterson from Tarpon Springs, Florida.  Patterson’s company, Love & Fleece, donated sets of Lamby Lambpants books to an elementary school in Pensacola, Florida, and offered to visit the school for story time and sing-a-long. Listen to Lamby Stories on the company’s website here, songs here, and watch a video here [all from http://www.lambpants.com]. Visit their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/LoveAndFleece  and let them know that you support their mission of giving and how you live their mission of “spreading the happy and not the cranky” to kids in your community.

Of course, there are many opportunities to assist students and local schools. Find out what your community needs – maybe it’s a request for saving Box Tops for Education so that a school may earn a new playground – and connect with the opportunities for which you can contribute. When we do students are the winners.

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Visit Just Read, Florida! at http://www.justreadflorida.com/. Also check out the Florida Department of Education’s website at http://www.fldoe.org/default.asp.

Spessard Holland Elementary, Polk County, Florida, video entry to PSA competition for Celebrate Literacy Week, Florida! Video obtained from web at http://www.justreadflorida.com/LiteracyWinners.asp.

Florida Students Score Big in Reading. (December 12, 2012). CNN Video. Available online at http://www.cnn.com/video/#/video/bestoftv/2012/12/12/exp-early-stewart-florida-test-scores.cnn.

Check out stories about Lamby and meet author D. Byron Patterson at http://www.lambpants.com/ and https://www.facebook.com/LoveAndFleece.

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