TALLAHASSEE – The winners of the Celebrate Literacy Week, Florida! statewide public service announcement (PSA) contest were announced today by Florida First Lady Ann Scott. The announcement was made at the Capitol in Tallahassee as part of a week-long celebration that highlights the importance of literacy and reading in our everyday lives. Joining Mrs. Scott were Mark Wilson, President and CEO of the Florida Chamber of Commerce, Leon County Schools Superintendent Jackie Pons, and Stu Greenberg, Executive Director of the Department of Education’s Just Read, Florida! office.
“I’m proud to celebrate literacy this week. I love to read, and I’m excited that children across the state are discovering the same passion for reading,” First Lady Ann Scott said. “I hope everyone takes a moment this week to pick up a good book.”
The festivities included Mrs. Scott reading the book “Tuffy” to a group of students. “Tuffy” is a story about the first and only horse in the country enrolled in a public school. Tuffy is enrolled at East Milton Elementary School in Okaloosa County and supports literacy by inspiring schoolchildren to read.
“Great readers of today will be great leaders of tomorrow and help move Florida toward a new economy filled with high-wage jobs,” said Mark Wilson. “The Florida Chamber of Commerce is pleased to support Literacy Week and lend a hand in helping close the talent gap and move Florida forward.”
To enter the PSA contest, students created a short announcement that highlights and promotes the importance of literacy in the state of Florida. One winner was chosen at the elementary, middle and high school levels, with the winning schools awarded gift cards from Barnes and Noble and the Florida Education Foundation – $1,000 for first place, $500 for second place, and $250 for third place. Scholastic Books also donated books for each winning school’s media center. In addition, the PSAs will broadcast statewide on the Florida Knowledge Network.
“I am truly amazed at the exceptional talent our students demonstrated in producing these public service announcements,” said Florida Education Commissioner Dr. Eric J. Smith. “Their work shows not only their dedication to technology but to promoting literacy with a message that resonates with their fellow students.”
The winners of the 2011 Celebrate Literacy Week, Florida! statewide PSA contest are:
1st Place: K.E. Cunningham/Canal Point Elementary School, Palm Beach County
2nd Place: Spessard Holland Elementary School, Polk County
3rd Place: Kinloch Park Elementary School, Miami-Dade County
1st Place: Crews Lake Middle School, Pasco County
2nd Place: Dunnellon Middle School, Marion County
3rd Place: Ocoee Middle School, Orange County
1st Place: Boca Raton Community High School, Palm Beach County
2nd Place: Amos P. Godby High School, Leon County
3rd Place: West Broward High School, Broward County
The goals of “Celebrate Literacy Week, Florida!” are to promote literacy throughout the state by raising awareness of the programs and projects offered by the Department of Education and its partner agencies and organizations, and most of all, to promote the enjoyment of reading for children and adults of all ages. For more information about other Celebrate Literacy Week, Florida! events, visit http://www.justreadflorida.com/literacyweek.asp.