Dive into Reading

Dive into Reading


Dive into Reading summer reading program aims to improve children’s reading levels by combating “Summer Slide,” and continue his/her education over summer break.

Dive into Reading started in Summer of 2017 when Anna Maria Oyster Bar in Ellenton invited rising third graders from local schools to eat breakfast and practice reading.  In the fall, we were excited to learn that students who completed the program not only beat “Summer Slide,” but showed an increase in reading proficiency when they returned to school!  Read more about the first-annual program on our blog.

In just its first year, Dive into Reading received an outpouring of community support, winning recognition and awards from the National Restaurant Association, School District of Manatee County and Manatee Chamber of Commerce.  Because of the students’ success and YOUR SUPPORT, we’re grateful for the opportunity to expand significantly for Summer 2019.

Special thanks to all of our volunteers this year! Dive Into Reading 2019 was one for the books! Missed this years sign-ups? Subscribe to our Dive Into Reading emails and get ready for next year!



Dive Into Reading was recognized in a very special way this year. On June 22, we were awarded Leadership Florida’s 2019 Impact Award! This award recognized a business or nonprofit organization that has created a specific project, or body of work, whose impact is currently transforming the future of its region or beyond and has the potential to transform Florida as a whole. We are so grateful and cannot wait to see what next year brings!

SHOCKED is the only way we can describe how it felt to learn that Anna Maria Oyster Bar is the 2018 recipient of the National Restaurant Association Education Foundation‘s Restaurant Neighbor Award, presented on April 17 in Washington, DC.  Thanks to this award and the accompanying grant, we’re able to expand the program significantly to serve more students in 2019.

We were proud and humbled to be recognized by the Manatee Chamber of Commerce & the School District of Manatee County for our 2017 “Dive into Reading” Summer Reading Program at the Chamber’s 27th Business & Education Partnership Awards breakfast.  Anna Maria Oyster Bar received the 2017 Barry Jones Business Partner Empowerment Award for this wonderful program, linked with the Suncoast Campaign for Grade-Level Reading. 

We were also recognized with a special Gratitude Award from the School District of Manatee County at a School Board Meeting on Tuesday, September 26, 2017.  On behalf of the entire AMOB family, we couldn’t be more appreciative of the recognition.  We certainly don’t do what we do for awards or accolades… but it’s always nice to feel appreciated!  And now we’re passing along the appreciation to you: all of this was only possible with the support of a host of community partners and volunteer mentors. 


Mike & Dee Bennett


We need your help! This program is made possible by the support of community partners and volunteer mentors. If you’d like to create a positive impact on a child’s future, please consider becoming a volunteer reading mentor during our second annual Dive into Reading Summer Program.

The time commitment is 8:30-10:15am one day per week for 4 weeks during June. Multiple locations in the area are participating in 2019 to help serve ALL Manatee elementary schools and to better fit your schedule! Special thanks to our friends at Gecko’s, O’bricks, Pier 22 and the South Florida Museum for diving right in to support this program.


Dive in with the Hornes

Who’s Lucky?

Dive into Reading

Manatee County Students dive into award-winning reading program

At AMOB, Reading is Fundamental

Kids diving into reading once again at the Oyster Bar

Local restaurant owners helped kids take a bite out of reading, and a taste of national success followed