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Celebration of Reading in Florida

Date: February 17, 2017

Location: The Hyatt Regency Coconut Point Resort & Spa - Bonita Springs, Florida

Author Information Celebration Committee Photo Gallery Student Contest Information


The Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy presents the 16th Annual Florida Celebration of Reading on Friday, February 5, 2016. Since 2001, the Florida Celebration of Reading, founded by former Governor Jeb Bush and his wife, Columba, has raised more than $25 million in support of family literacy programs that help children and their parents improve their literacy skills.

Celebration of Reading activities include a private, intimate luncheon for top business supporters and members of the Bush family; a VIP cocktail reception and photo opportunity; and the always-entertaining reading event, featuring best-selling Guest Authors followed by dinner. The host hotel is the award-winning Hyatt Regency Coconut Point Resort & Spa in Bonita Springs.

Funds raised from the annual Florida Celebration of Reading help support programs of the Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy, including Teen Trendsetters™, an anchor program of the organization that pairs middle or high school mentors with first, second or third grade students who are six months or more behind in reading. Last year, your support provided academic mentoring through Teen Trendsetters™ to more than 3,000 elementary students, and expanded family literacy programs across Florida and the nation.


February 5, 2016

8:30 a.m.

Celebration Breakfast with education leaders, guest authors and winners from the student essay contest

11:30 a.m.

Celebration Luncheon with Bush Family & Guest Authors

(Investor Level & Higher)

5 to 5:45 p.m.

VIP Reception and Photo Opportunity (Patron Level & Higher)

6 to 8:30 p.m.

Celebration of Reading Event and Dinner – Calusa Ballroom

8:30 p.m.

Guest Authors will sign your books – Calusa Ballroom Lobby

CELEBRATION OF READING EVENT (All Sponsors and ticket purchasers)

5 p.m.

Beer & Wine Cocktail Hour

6 p.m.

Reading Event with Best-Selling Guest Authors Begins

7 p.m.


8:30 p.m.

Author Book Signing Event*

*Each guest will receive a commemorative gift bag which includes two books. Guests may elect to purchase additional books to be autographed by our authors at the on-site Barnes & Noble bookstore, where proceeds support literacy.


From Southwest Florida International Airport (RSW) – Follow Terminal Access Road (East) to the intersection of Ben Hill Griffin Parkway/Treeline Avenue Extension. Turn left onto Ben Hill Griffin Parkway, and follow to Corkscrew Road (approx. 7 miles). At Corkscrew Road, turn right and follow to South Tamiami Trail (US 41) (approx 3-1/2 miles). Turn left onto S. Tamiami Trail and follow for approximately 2 miles to Coconut Road. Turn right at Coconut Road, Hyatt Regency is at the end.

From Fort Lauderdale – Follow I-75 North toward Naples for approximately 99 miles, to Exit 116 toward Bonita Springs / Gulf Beaches. Take the CR-865 West ramp toward Bonita Springs / Gulf Beaches and turn left onto Bonita Beach Road SE / CR-865 West. Turn right onto South Tamiami Trail / US-41 North / FL-45 North. Follow South Tamiami Trail northbound for 4-1/2 miles to Coconut Road intersection. At light, turn left onto Coconut Road, and follow to the Hyatt Regency.

From Tampa – Follow I-75 South, toward Naples, to Exit 123. Merge onto Corkscrew Road / CR-850 West toward Estero. Follow Corkscrew Road to Tamiami Trail / US-41 South / FL-45 South, and turn left. Stay on Tamiami Trail to Coconut Road, turn right and follow Coconut Road to the hotel.

From Orlando  – Take I-4 West toward Tampa to Exit 55. Merge onto US-27 South toward Haines City / Cypress Gardens, then turn right onto West Main Street / FL-64. Continue to follow FL-64, then turn left onto US-17 South / Florida Cracker Trail / FL-35 South. Continue to follow US-17 South / FL-35 South to I-75 South. Follow I-75 South, toward Naples, to Exit 123. Merge onto Corkscrew Road / CR-850 West toward Estero. Follow Corkscrew Road to Tamiami Trail / US-41 South / FL-45 South, and turn left. Stay on Tamiami Trail to Coconut Road, turn right and follow Coconut Road to the hotel.

Author Information

Dana PerinoDana Perino
Perino’s recently released debut title, And the Good News Is …, was an instant New York Times best-seller. She serves as co-host of Fox News Channel’s “The Five,” which was rated last year as the third most-watched program on all cable news. Perino also appears as part of the political and election coverage teams on the Fox News Channel. The former White House press secretary for President George W. Bush, Perino served for seven years in the Bush administration working at the Justice Department and the Council on Environmental Policy. Perino also served three years on the U.S. Broadcasting Board of Governors, an appointment by President Obama and confirmed by the U.S. Senate.


Drew DaywaltDrew Daywalt
Drew Daywalt is the author of the New York Times best-selling children’s book, The Day the Crayons Quit. With more than 1.8 million copies in print, the children’s book has spent over two years on the New York Times best-seller list, with more than half that in the No. 1 spot.  In 2015, Daywalt released The Day the Crayons Came Home, one of Parents magazine’s 10 best children’s books of 2015 and Publishers Weekly’s best book of the year. Drew Daywalt is an award-winning writer/director of film and TV. His work has been featured on Disney, MTV, FEARnet and Syfy. Daywalt lives in Southern California with his wife and two children. His favorite crayon is black, although he makes sure to use all of the crayons so that they never quit.


Carol Higgins Clark
An accomplished actress, Carol Higgins Clark is the acclaimed author of the best-selling Regan Reilly mysteries, including Decked, nominated as Best First Novel for both the Agatha and Anthony Awards. She is the daughter of America’s No. 1 best-selling suspense writer, Mary Higgins Clark. They have co-authored five holiday suspense novels.



Sponsorship Information

The Celebration of Reading event helps raise both awareness and funds to support the Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy, which is dedicated to establishing literacy as a value in every home in America. The foundation funds the development of innovative family literacy projects in which parents and their children learn and read together.

Sponsored tables and tickets are available at various prices. For more detailed sponsor benefits and ticket information click HERE

Thank you to our sponsors!

Celebration Committee

Honorary Chair, Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy


Honorary Chair, Celebration of Reading



Listing as of September 16, 2015

  • Carol Barnett, Publix Super Markets Charities
  • Romero Britto, International Pop Artist and Artistic Activist
  • Walter Ganzi, The Palm Restaurant
  • Michael A. Jennings, Prudential Financial
  • Fred & Autumn Karlinsky, Attorney, Parents and Champions for Reading
  • Belinda Keiser, Keiser University
  • Tom & Carol Kuntz, Family Literacy Advocates
  • Piyush Patel, Kyra Solutions, Inc.
  • Fred & Stephanie Pezeshkan, Founding Co-Chairs, Florida Celebration of Reading
  • Senator Garrett & Diana Richter, Barbara Bush Foundation Advocates


  • Robin Cook
  • R.L. Stein
  • Susan Orlean
  • Art Smith
  • Carol and Mary Higgins Clark
  • Michael Beschloss
  • Carl Hiaasen
  • James McBride
  • Marc Brown
  • Antwone Fisher
  • Paulette Bourgeois
  • Fannie Flagg
  • James Bradley
  • Joanna Cole
  • Brad Meltzer
  • Jill Conner Browne
  • Julianna Baggott
  • Michael Crichton
  • Haven Kimmel
  • Eric Carle
  • Doro Bush Koch
  • Mary Matalin
  • Greg Mortenson
  • Sharon Robinson
  • A.J. Jacobs
  • Derrick Barnes
  • Jeffrey Engel
  • Steve Doocy
  • Laura Bush
  • Donovan Campbell
  • N.D. Wilson
  • Greg Kincaid
  • Jeff Kinney
  • Randall Wallace
  • Dr. Arthur Agatston
  • Bill O’Reilly
  • Harlan Coben
  • Andrea Beaty
  • Eric Draper
  • Debbie Macomber
  • Mary Pope Osborne
  • Markus Zusak
  • Christopher Buckley

Get in Touch

You may also contact us by phone at 850.562.5300 or by mail at:
Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy
516 North Adams Street • Tallahassee, Florida 32301