Tallahassee, Fla. – Today, First Lady Casey DeSantis held a ribbon-cutting ceremony to unveil a new Children’s Corner in the Florida Library in the Governor’s Mansion in celebration of Florida Literacy Week. She was joined by Senator Manny Diaz Jr., Chairman of the Senate Education Committee; Jacob Oliva, the Florida Department of Education’s Chancellor for K-12 education; and 8-year-old children’s book author Hampton Boney of Placida.

At 7 years old, Hampton wrote and illustrated his first book, “500 Pound Tarpon.” The book has raised more than $500 for Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium. Now 8, his second book, “105 Pound Trout,” is due to be released in a few weeks.

As the mother of two children with a third on the way, First Lady Casey DeSantis values the importance of reading at an early age and is launching a new program at the Governor’s Mansion. Storytime Tours at the Mansion is a new option under Governor’s Mansion tours where the children’s books can be accessed. In addition, First Lady DeSantis would gladly accept donated books to the children’s library section of the Mansion for the particular enjoyment of young visitors.

“There are multiple benefits to teaching a child to read at an early age,” said First Lady Casey DeSantis. “Reading is the cornerstone of education and leads to improved attention span and better concentration. I could not be prouder of the Governor’s Bolder, Brighter, Better Future budget and his unprecedented commitment to education. As parents, the Governor and I are committed to providing the best education and the best tools possible so that all Florida children can thrive and reach their full potential.”

“Reading is essential to lifelong learning, and I thank First Lady Casey DeSantis for shining a light on the importance of literacy as the basis for all learning,” said Senator Manny Díaz Jr. “As I have said before, education is the key to a brighter and better future and amongst the greatest gifts we can give Florida’s children.”

“Thank you to First Lady Casey DeSantis for promoting and championing literacy in the State of Florida, especially during Celebrate Literacy Week,” said Division of Public Schools Chancellor Jacob Oliva. “The Florida Department of Education is thrilled that the First Lady has been such a strong advocate Florida students. Just last week, we announced access to Reading Scholarships for struggling readers. As parents, it’s important to promote and establish the value of lifelong literacy. The Children’s Corner at the Governor’s Mansion is a wonderful way to ensure all Floridians can enjoy the People’s House and is a model for families to celebrate literacy every day.”



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