The Guinness Book of World Records May Hold Over 300,000 Floridians

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9/28/06 - The sounds of children reading deafened the state of Florida today as they attempted to break a Guinness world record.

"A lot of time students are really excited by the Guinness Book of World Records. Just being a part of something like that is just very exciting for them," said Rachel Scott, a sixth grade teacher at Raa Middle School.

The record was set back in 2004 by the United Kingdom for "The Most People Reading Aloud Simultaneously in Multiple Locations."

Today more than 200,000 students from across the state of Florida, including those at Tallahassee's Raa Middle School, attempted to make their mark.

"You get to break a world record, we are gonna show Britain and England that we can break their world record," said Vance McGhee, a student at Raa.

Teachers said the attempt at the record is also an opportunity to show students how much fun reading can be.

"I think we do so much in the classroom sometimes our students get bored. I think adding a little spice to it might inspire some of our students to enjoy reading more," said Scott.

Schools were connected via satellite, all reading the same page from "Peter and the Star Catcher."

"It makes me feel happy and proud of myself," said Ashli Smith, a student at Raa.

"We all got to do it in a group and we got to read a fun story," said Rashid Elsamra, another student at Raa.

Over 30 schools in the local area took part in the reading. The Department of Education said there has been a renewed focus on reading at the middle school level. Participants must wait about a month for Guinness record guardians to pour over the pages of documents, video proof and witness statements.

Students are hoping today's story will be one they can read about in the future.