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Florida Chamber announces Future of Florida Forum, #BringABook initiative with Volunteer Florida

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Business leaders, experts and elected officials will gather together to discuss securing Florida’s future at the annual Future of Florida Forum hosted by the Florida Chamber Foundation.

The forum is Sept. 28 and 29 at the Omni Orlando Resort, 1500 Masters Blvd. in ChampionsGate.

As part of the first-ever event is the #BringABook initiative, a partnership between the Chamber and Volunteer Florida where organizers ask business, community and elected leaders attending the forum to bring new or gently used elementary-school-level books. Volunteer Florida and the foundation will collect the books at the registration area.

“We are excited to partner with Volunteer Florida on an initiative that has wide reaching impact on students and our state,” said Florida Chamber Foundation Executive Vice President Tony Carvajal. “As our Business Alliance for Early Education has identified, increasing graduation rates and ensuring long term success for students is enhanced when kids start school ready to learn and are reading at grade level by third grade.

“This #BringABook initiative is just one more way that the business community is investing in talent and the future of Florida,” Carvajal said.

City Year Orlando, which deploys more than 60 AmeriCorps members to serve in seven Orlando schools, is the recipient organization for the books. City Year will then distribute books to students at Catalina Elementary School, who can take them home to start building their own library.

“Volunteer Florida is proud to co-host the #BringABook initiative at the Future of Florida Forum,” said Volunteer Florida CEO Chester Spellman. “Securing Florida’s future begins at home, and we want as many Florida families as possible to have books in their homes to encourage family reading. The #BringABook initiative allows Florida’s business community to make a direct impact on student literacy and achievement by donating their own book and note of encouragement to a Florida student at the Future of Florida Forum.”

Volunteer Florida and the Florida Chamber Foundation encourage participants and supporters to use the hashtag #BringABook to help promote the initiative.

The annual event will provide an opportunity for participants to identify issues and build partnerships to make vibrant communities, create high-wage jobs and expanded opportunities for global competitiveness.

Information on the Future of Florida Forum is at flchamber.com. More on Volunteer Florida is at volunteerflorida.org.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.

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