Anna Maria Oyster Bar proprietors John and Amanda Horne have been chosen as the 2019 recipients of the Leadership Florida Impact Award. The award recognizes 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.
In 2017, after learning that more than 50 percent of third graders in the Manatee County public school system were not reading on grade level, the Hornes launched "Dive into Reading," a summer reading program aimed to improve children’s reading levels to combat “summer slide,” the term for when children stop learning because they are not actively engaged in the classroom. The Hornes saw an opportunity for guests of their restaurant to mentor rising third graders from local Title I schools by feeding them breakfast, teaching table manners, and having mentors read to—and be read to—by the children. In 2018, the program expanded to all four AMOB locations plus two other area restaurants.