First Lady Ann Scott kicks off summer literacy adventure at Weeki Wachee Springs State Park

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Florida’s First Lady Ann Scott this week kicked off the 2014 Summer Literacy Adventure by reading Mermaids: A Magic 3-Dimensional World of Mermaids to a group of more than 125 summer camp students at Weeki Wachee Springs State Park. This was her fourth consecutive year participating in the Summer Literacy Adventure.

First Lady Ann Scott encouraged students to keep reading during the summer months and challenged them to sign up for the Summer Literacy Adventure Pledge to read as many books as possible over the summer. She was joined by representatives from the Florida Department of Education, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection and the Florida Lottery.

“Reading opens up a whole new world of fun and adventure,” said First Lady Ann Scott. “I hope all Florida students will find time this summer to take an exciting journey through the pages of a book.”

Weeki Wachee Springs State Park is known for delighting visitors of all ages with magical mermaids and family-friendly activities like swimming and kayaking in the beautiful freshwater spring and river.

“Continuing to use reading skills during the summer is very important for young people in Florida,” said Donald Forgione, Director of the Florida Park Service. “I am honored that First Lady Ann Scott selected Weeki Wachee Springs State Park as a place to remind children about reading during the summer.”

The 2014 Summer Literacy Adventure helps keep Florida students excited about reading and literacy. Research shows that children who do not continue reading through the summer can lose a month or more of progress made during the school year. By encouraging their children to read, parents play an important role in ensuring every child reads at or above their grade level.

“It is critical that students stay engaged in reading all year long,” said Education Commissioner Pam Stewart. “Reading and literacy are the pillars of a solid education and will lead our students to success in college, career and life.”

Students can fill out their Summer Literacy Adventure Pledge form at At the start of 2014 – 2015 academic year, First Lady Scott will visit the school whose students successfully completed the most pledges.

The Florida Lottery generously donated books to all students in attendance at today’s event.

“On behalf of the Florida Lottery, we are pleased to support the 2014 Summer Literacy Adventure,” said Secretary Cynthia O’Connell. “Reading can open up new worlds and spark a lifetime love for learning.”

For more information, visit 2014 Summer Literacy Adventure.

Phil Ammann is a St. Petersburg-based journalist and blogger. With more than three decades of writing, editing and management experience, Phil produced material for both print and online, in addition to founding His broad range includes covering news, local government and culture reviews for, technical articles and profiles for BetterRVing Magazine and advice columns for a metaphysical website, among others. Phil has served as a contributor and production manager for SaintPetersBlog since 2013. He lives in St. Pete with his wife, visual artist Margaret Juul and can be reached at and on Twitter @PhilAmmann.