First Lady Ann Scott, wife of Florida Gov. Rick Scott, kickstarted “Celebrate Literacy Week, Florida!” Monday, Jan. 22 at Ponte Vedra High School.
"I want to thank Just Read, Florida, the Florida Department of Education and the Florida Lottery for organizing this terrific event for all of us today," Scott said. "Growing up, I always enjoyed reading. It's a passion that I shared with my two daughters throughout their childhood ... I love having the opportunity to travel the state and visit schools to encourage students like yourselves to keep reading and expanding your knowledge."
Celebrate Literacy Week, Florida! is an annual, week-long event aimed at raising awareness about the significance of literacy skills. The celebration encourages Florida students and families to make reading a part of their daily routine. This year's theme, "Find Yourself in a Book," is about connecting with a book and taking a journey with its characters.
Florida Commissioner of Education Pam Stewart also spoke at the event, mentioning that students can only reach their full potential if they continue to develop essential reading and literacy skills.
"First Lady Ann Scott’s passion for literacy motivates students to love reading as much as she does," she said. "I am so appreciative of her support."
St. Johns County School District Superintendent Tim Forson, officials from the Florida Lottery and Department of Education, and Ponte Vedra High School faculty, staff and students also attended the kickoff event.
Scott launches book and reads stories for children
Following the Ponte Vedra High School assembly, Scott appeared at PVPV-Rawlings Elementary School to launch her new book and read stories to children as part of her literacy tour. The first lady of Florida has been visiting schools since the beginning of Gov. Scott’s term in office.
"When I became first lady I decided I wanted to focus on reading and literacy," Scott said in an exclusive interview with the Recorder. "I love traveling the state and visiting as many schools as I can; I've been to all 67 counties and just trying to visit all the schools that have requested me."
Scott added that she enjoys taking questions from grade-school students, but she sometimes defers to her husband.
“If they start getting too political on me I say, 'That sounds like a governor question to me',” she said. “I try to be outside of politics and be a little more neutral, I try to handle [their questions] to the best of my ability – it's fun to take questions from the kids and see what they're curious about.”
Scott’s book, entitled "Allie and Jordie's Adventures Through Florida," was written in collaboration with the Florida Department of State and released Jan. 22. The first lady noted that the story was inspired by her two daughters, Allison and Jordan, who loved exploring as children. Consequently, Scott authored a book for kids to use their imagination and journey across Florida while learning about history. “Allie and Jordie’s Adventures Through Florida” is available on Amazon and at elementary school and public libraries throughout the state.
For more information on Just Read, Florida! and Celebrate Literacy Week, visit www.fldoe.org.