Florida first lady Ann Scott visited Tampa’s Strawberry Crest High School Monday as part of a Department of Education initiative to raise awareness for its literacy programs.
“Strong reading skills set students up for success in the classroom and beyond, and I am honored to have the opportunity to help our state’s students foster an appreciation for literacy,” Scott said in a news release. “As a grandmother, I cherish the time I spend reading to my four young grandsons and seeing their eyes light up as they are introduced to new and exciting stories. I encourage all Florida students and families to participate in Celebrate Literacy Week, Florida! by making reading a part of their daily routines.”
The celebration has a civics and citizenship theme and includes events such as traveling quiz shows and a statewide service project contest. The event is part of the DOE’s Just Read, Florida! initiative and is sponsored by Florida Lottery, Scholastic, Legoland, and the Florida Education Foundation.
“Florida’s students have consistently exceeded the national average in reading, thanks to the hard work of parents and educators who have supported them and made literacy a priority,” Education Commissioner Pam Stewart said. “With this year’s theme, ‘Literacy Changes the World,’ we combine the importance of literacy with the invaluable lesson of civic responsibility, and I hope that all of our state’s schools and families take full advantage of this great learning opportunity.”
The first lady’s weeklong tour will include stops at Cannella Elementary in Tampa; Tangelo Park Elementary, MetroWest Elementary and Thornebrooke Elementary in Orlando; and Southside Elementary and Starke Elementary in Starke. The first lady has participated in the event annually since Gov. Rick Scott took office in 2011.