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Home > Leadership > Mayor > Archived Press Releases > 2008 Archives > October 2008 > Mayor Hails Most Successful Kids Summer Reading Program

Mayor Hails Most Successful Kids Summer Reading Program

Source/Contact
Office of the Mayor
Peter K. Cutler
Director of Communications
716-851-5841

7TH Annual “Reading Rules!” Kids Summer Reading Challenge Program Attracts Approximately 1,500 Participants

Mayor Byron W. Brown today proclaimed the 7th Annual “Reading Rules! Kids Summer Reading Challenge,” a tremendous success, attracting approximately 1,500 children to read a minimum of seven books over the 2008 summer break and submitting required summaries for each book they read.  The Mayor celebrated the most recent edition of his annual reading challenge on Saturday, October 18th at the Buffalo Convention Center with the children (and their families) who successfully completed the program.

In 2007, Mayor Brown handed out nearly 900 certificates to children who participated in the program, which was launched in 2001 by the Mayor (then serving in the New York State Senate) and resulted in 38 successfully completed submissions.

“The response to and participation in this reading program has been overwhelming,” said Mayor Brown. “I am thrilled that we have increased our participation by 384% since 2001. I commend our students who worked so diligently over the summer to successfully complete the requirements of the program and I thank their parents for providing the students with support and encouragement as they read their books and completed their book summaries.”

As part of the Summer Reading Challenge, each student was required to read 7 books at or above their grade level, write summaries for each book and send them in by the predetermined deadline. Since the program was established in 2001, there have been over 4,000 student completions and 23,500 books read.  Participating students are entering Grades 1 through 9.

“I first started this reading challenge after learning of the declining reading scores on statewide tests among elementary school children,” said Mayor Brown.  “It is my firm belief that in order to succeed, our children must become proficient in reading and writing.  The Summer Reading Challenge is focused directly on that objective and I am pleased that the challenge continues to grow and expand every year.”

This year’s major sponsors included: Verizon, Rent-A-Center, American Water, Alternative Information Systems, Buffalo Metropolitan Federal Credit Union, Police Athletic League of Buffalo, General Mills, M&T Bank, National Fuel, Wal*Mart, Buffalo Public Schools and the City Of Buffalo Department of Community Services. Additional event sponsors were: ADPRO Sports, Albright Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo Museum of Science, Buffalo Niagara Convention Center, Buffalo and Erie County Public Library, Buffalo Zoo, Buffalo Reads, Buffalo Sabres, D&D Printing, First Impressions Apparel, Good Schools For All, Project Flight, Sodexo, Talking Leaves Books, Tops Markets, True Bethel Bookstore, Try-it Distributing Company, and Xtreme Wheels.

The prize pack that each student received included free admission passes to: the Buffalo Zoo, the Albright Knox Art Gallery and the Buffalo Museum of Science.  All children also received free books, a Reading Rules t-shirt, as well as discount coupons to local retailers, boxes of General Mills cereal and much more.

Prizes in the raffle included: 50 bank accounts (20 $100 and 30 $50 savings accounts with the Buffalo Metropolitan Federal Credit Union), 4 scholarships - 2 $1,000.00, 2 $500.00, 100 bikes, 10 desktop computers, 2 laptops, and 50 electronic devices, including iPods, Nintendo DS and Ps3.

Funds for the scholarships and bank accounts were derived from a generous donation from Rent-A-Center.