John and Amanda Horne are the owners of the Anna Maria Oyster Bar.
Last year the Hornes began their Dive Into Reading program. In its inaugural summer, the Hornes invited approximately 70 Title I students to their Ellenton location for breakfast, reading instruction, time to read one-on-one with a mentor, and a free book. Partnering with Manatee County Public Libraries for curriculum and programming, the School District of Manatee County for logistics and
transportation, The Patterson Foundation for funding, and several other community groups proved to be a great success. Instead of the students losing the anticipated average of 2.5 months of reading proficiency during the summer, they gained 1.2
Building on last summer’s success, the Hornes expanded the program to include three of their restaurant locations, the South Florida Museum, and Gecko’s on SR 70. This expansion allowed for all incoming 2nd and 3rd grade Title I students, who attended Camp Rise, to also participate in Dive Into Reading. With the familiar community and business partners rallying behind the Hornes, they were able to serve 370 students this summer! This great feat included the coordination of 260 volunteer mentors, 5 teachers, and program oversight provided by the Manatee
County Public Libraries. We truly appreciate John and Amanda Horne’s commitment to our students and look forward to collaborating with them for years to come.
The Hornes were nominated by Ava Ehde, Interim Director of Manatee County Neighborhood Services Department.