Lastinger Center for Learning Logo

Miami families of VPK students and K – 5th grade public and charter school students are invited to attend the “Splash Into New Worlds” Book Bash to receive free books and reading activities, as well as participate in a read aloud and book signing with Malcolm Mitchell, Super Bowl champion and author of “My Very Favorite Book in the Whole Wide World.” Hosted at the Phillip & Patricia Frost Museum of Science, families will be able to explore the Aquarium at the museum for free!

Created to help the more than 861,000 eligible VPK – 5th grade students in Florida not yet meeting age-appropriate standards or not yet reading on grade level, New Worlds Reading delivers nine FREE books and reading activities each school year directly to the doorsteps of eligible VPK through 5th grade students. Administered by the UF Lastinger Center for Learning, the New Worlds Reading Initiative has shipped more than 3.9 million books to the homes of Florida children to date—in English, Spanish, Haitian Creole, and braille.

“Since 2021, children and families have been at the center of our focus. We’ve enrolled more than 269,000 students across Florida school districts —and counting!” said Dr. Shaunté Duggins, Associate Director of New Worlds Reading. “We’re honored to partner with Florida families to help ignite their children’s reading journey, building foundational literacy skills today that will help set them up for reading success tomorrow.

To increase awareness and support for the program, this year the team is also launching the New Worlds Reading Regional Partners Program, partnering with organizations to host literacy workshops, community literacy events, teacher professional development sessions and more. Partners local to the Southeast Florida region include Children’s Literacy Initiative, Hands Together for Haitians, Inc, Principle Life Family Resource Center, Inc, The Lucy Project, and Uplift Literacy. 

Families with a VPK student who is not yet meeting age-appropriate standards according to FAST Star Early Literacy or K-5th grader not yet reading on grade level in a public or charter school, are eligible to apply today

The New Worlds Reading team will host the “Splash Into New Worlds” Book Bash at the Phillip & Patricia Frost Museum of Science from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. ET on Nov 4, 2023, in Miami. Families are encouraged to RSVP here for free.

About The New Worlds Reading Initiative

The New Worlds Reading Initiative is Florida’s free at-home literacy program to help eligible VPK through 5th-grade students in Florida to bolster literacy skills, build reading confidence, and foster a lifelong love of reading. Each month, eligible kids receive a free book tailored to their interests with resources and activities for caregivers and children to engage with books together. The UF Lastinger Center for Learning designs education solutions for children and teachers, and administers New Worlds Reading. The UF Lastinger Center has partnered with Scholastic, the global children’s publishing, education and media company. Books are selected in collaboration with the Florida Department of Education, and are available in English, Spanish, Haitian Creole, and braille. For more information, visit