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NEWS RELEASE: Elections Office to Conduct Middle and Elementary School Reading Elections


March 07, 2007

For more information contact:

Cyndi Young, Education Coordinator
Supervisor of Elections Office ~ (239) 252-8450

For the 5th year, the Collier County Supervisor of Elections Office will partner with elementary and middle schools across the county to conduct student elections for the Sunshine State Young Readers Awards Program (SSYRA) and the Florida Children’s Book Awards Program sponsored by the Florida Reading Association (FRA). Beginning Friday, March 9, Cyndi Young, Education Coordinator for the Supervisor of Elections Office, will bring voting machines to 15 elementary and middle schools and eligible students from kindergarten through the 8th grade will have an opportunity to cast a vote for their favorite book.

The SSYRA Program is an annual statewide motivational reading program for students in grades 3 - 8. The program, cosponsored by the School Library Media Services Office of the Department of Education and the Florida Association for Media in Education, was designed to encourage students to read. Students who read at least three of the 15 selected books are eligible to vote for their favorite. At the close of the election, results are tallied and submitted to Tallahassee for inclusion in the statewide balloting process. Winning authors receive special recognition.

In 2005, the Elections Office added a similar voting experience for pre-kindergarten through 2nd grade students. At participating schools, students vote for their favorite book in the Florida Children’s Book Awards program sponsored by the Florida Reading Association (FRA). The FRA program was designed to encourage younger students to become enthusiastic about books. The winning FRA book is determined by votes from students who have heard or read some of the eight nominations. The winning author is honored at the annual FRA Conference.

At most schools on Election Day, students are trained to serve as poll workers during that school’s election. Students serve as clerks, inspectors or poll deputies to check students in, activate voting machine ballots or to distribute ‘I Voted’ stickers and other handouts at the end of voting. Last year 13 schools partnered with the Supervisor of Elections Office and 2,729 kindergarten through 8th grade students cast a vote for their favorite book.

Beginning March 9, the Supervisor of Elections Office will begin conducting the 2007 elections for students at 15 elementary and middle schools. Not all election start times are set and will be determined closer to that schools election date.

The scheduled schools are as follows:

  • March 9 — Estates School
  • March 12 — Shadowlawn Elementary
  • March 13 — Naples Park Elementary
  • March 14 — Pelican Marsh Elementary
  • March 16 — Seacreast School
  • March 19 — Oakridge Middle School
  • March 20 — Osceola Elementary
  • March 21 — Lely Elementary
  • March 22 — Seagate Elementary
  • March 23 — Corkscrew Elementary
  • March 26 — Village Oak Elementary
  • March 27 — Tommy Barfield
  • March 28 — East Naples Middle
  • March 29 — Lake Park Elementary
  • March 30 — Manatee Elementary

“We believe it’s important to involve students in the democratic process by familiarizing them with the ease of voting, what to expect on Election Day and how to cast a ballot like an adult in a real election,” commented Jennifer J. Edwards, Supervisor of Elections. ”Our participation not only helps prepare these future voters but has tempted even the most reluctant child to read for an opportunity to take part in the voting process,” Young added.

For more information, contact Cyndi Young, Education Coordinator at The Supervisor of Elections Office at (239) 774-8805.

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