TALLAHASSEE – Summer has arrived and the Florida Department of
Education (DOE) and the Florida Department of Environmental
Protection (DEP) are encouraging students to head outdoors with a
book from DOE’s 2010 recommended summer reading list. The annual
reading list, part of DOE’s Just Read, Florida! mission, is designed
to promote nature-based literature while fostering in students an
appreciation for the both reading and the outdoors.
“Reading outdoors is a great way to foster environmental
stewardship in Florida’s students,” said DEP Secretary Michael W.
Sole. “By promoting literature focused on Florida’s diverse natural
resources, we hope to harness students’ interest in academic success
as well as environmental protection.”
One of the suggested summer reads for 2010 is Marjorie Kinnan
Rawlings’ Pulitzer prize-winning novel, The Yearling. This story
takes readers back in time to Rawlings 1930s farm life. A visit to
Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings Historic State Park offers a glimpse into
the setting that inspired the book. Florida’s 160 state parks, which
cover more than 700,000 acres of Florida’s natural environment, also
make a perfect backdrop for reading.
Other examples of Florida State Parks and nature-based selections
on the 2010 summer reading list include:
- Grades K-3: Pancakes for
Breakfast, Tommie DePaola. Visit De Leon Springs State Park in De
Leon Springs where you can make your own pancakes at the table.
- Grades 4-5: The Birchbark House, Louise Erdrich. Visit
Collier-Seminole State Park in Naples on the edge of the Everglades
rich with Native American history.
- Grades 6-8: Forever Forest,
Kristin Joy-Pratt Serafini. Visit Homossassa Springs Wildlife State
Park to learn about protection and conservation of Florida wildlife.
- Grades 9-12: Southern Comforts: Rooted in a Florida Place, Sudye
Cauthen. Visit Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park, Florida´s first
state preserve and a National Natural Landmark.
“Promoting summer reading to students has always been a primary
mission of ours, but now the opportunities are right at their
fingertips,” said Education Commissioner Dr. Eric J. Smith. “Our
recently launched book search offers ease and accessibility in
finding that perfect read for a beautiful summer day.”
Research shows that children who continue to read during the
summer months are more likely to retain progress made throughout the
school year. In addition to the Just Read, Florida! summer reading
list, DOE also recently partnered with the Department of State (DOS)
and MetaMetrics, Inc. to launch ‘Find a Book,’ a search tool that
identifies the appropriate books for each student’s reading level.
This technology allows students and their families to personalize
their book list according to preference and reading level.
To view all of DOE’s summer reading suggestions, visit
www.justreadfamilies.org/SummerReadingList.pdf. To learn more
about ’Find a Book,’ visit
www.lexile.com/findabook. For more about Florida State Parks, go
www.FloridaStateParks.org or follow on Twitter at