Florida first lady Ann Scott likes to read. She’s trying to get more kids reading, too.
Friday morning at the Tallahassee Museum, she helped kick off the 2012 Summer Literacy Adventure. The program is designed to get kids interested in reading and keep them motivated to read all year.
Scott told an audience of museum campers that she loved school growing up, but couldn’t wait for summer break.
“One of the first things that I did was head to the local library near my home,” said Scott, “and I would peruse the aisles looking at books that I thought I might enjoy reading, checking out a stack of books and seeing how many I could get through in a week.”
Scott said she spent her childhood summers at the library.
“I would pretend I was an imaginary character in the book or on an imaginary adventure,” Scott told the kids. “It is so important to keep reading over the summer, keeping our reading skills up so that when school starts again, you’re ahead of the game and ready to learn.”
Scott told the kids that reading just 20 minutes a day would have a significant impact on their success in school.
“I hope all of you will join me in taking the pledge to read today and be a part of the Summer Literacy Adventure,” she said. Then, the first lady sat down with the kids to read “The Story of Ferdinand,” about a bull about who’d rather smell flowers than be in a bullfight.
Kids are encouraged to set a goal for the number of books they’d like to read over the summer. Students who take the pledge will have access to an online tool to help them search for books. The Florida Department of Education has a suggested summer reading list for kids of all ages.
The schools with the most reading pledge participants will be rewarded at the end of the summer with free passes to any Florida state park.