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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
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The Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy presents the 17th Annual Florida Celebration of Reading on Friday, February 17, 2017. 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.

Author Information

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Thanks to our 2016 bestselling guest authors! Our 2017 lineup of guest authors will be announced soon.


DaDana Perinona 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.



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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

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Honorary Chair, Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy


Honorary Chair, Celebration of Reading



Thank you to our 2016 Celebration of Reading Committee members:

  • 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