The Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy announced the Florida Celebration of Reading Writing Contest is open to third- through fifth-grade students in Southwest Florida, including Lee, Collier, Charlotte and Hendry counties.
The event on Feb. 14 at the Hyatt Regency Coconut Point Resort & Spa helps raise funds for the foundation, which teaches parents and children to learn to read together through innovative family literacy programs.
Children's author Mary Pope Osborne is one of four best-selling guest authors at the event. This year's contest is based on her award-winning "Magic Tree House" series.
The books are filled with tales from Jack and Annie's adventures, the main characters in Osborne's series. The children discover a tree house with books that take them on numerous adventures.
"We're excited that Mary Pope Osborne will help us kick off our 14th Florida Celebration of Reading," said Liza McFadden, president of the Barbara Bush Foundation. "Since our event falls on Feb. 14, we'd love to have our young authors write a magical first page of a book or a poem centered on a Valentine's Day 'Jack and Annie' adventure."
The Florida Department of Education's Just Read, Florida! office will assist in reading and judging entries.
Contest winners, accompanied by their parents, will be recognized at a VIP breakfast on Feb. 14, sponsored by Public Risk Insurance Agency. The students will be Osborne's guests at the Celebration of Reading student breakfast and have the opportunity to visit with the entertaining author and share their winning submissions.
Writing contest entries are limited to a maximum of 500 words. Deadline is Jan. 26 at 5 p.m.
Entries can be submitted electronically to firstname.lastname@example.org or mailed to the Barbara Bush Foundation, attn: COR 2014 Writing Contest, 516 North Adams St. Tallahassee, Fla. 32301, postmarked no later than Jan. 26.
Illustrations are welcome but not mandatory.
Contest guidelines will be posted on the Barbara Bush Foundation's Web site events page at: www.barbarabush.org.
Twelve winning entries will be selected based upon imagination, creativity and quality of writing. Winners will be announced in schools and on the Web site.
For more information, call the foundation at (850) 562-5300.