Assemblywoman Russell announces 2011 Summer Reading Challenge

June 27, 2011

Assemblywoman Addie J. Russell (D-Theresa) announced the kick-off of the Assembly’s annual Summer Reading Challenge, which encourages children to read throughout the months of July and August to maintain their skills for school in the fall. This challenge is in coordination with the New York State Library’s “Summer Reading at New York Libraries” initiative.

“I can not stress enough how important reading is to our children’s development and success,” Russell said. “Children who read more not only read better, they also write better, spell better and have much larger vocabularies.”

The Summer Reading Challenge is a great way to prevent the “summer slide,” which is when children forget some of what they learned during the school year because they didn’t put their newfound knowledge to use over the summer. It is estimated that school summer breaks will cause the average student to lose up to one month of instruction, with disadvantaged students being disproportionately affected.1

“The Summer Reading Challenge is about reducing the summer learning loss and encouraging children and parents to make reading and learning a year-long activity,” Russell said. “A little bit of reading each day can have a big impact on our student’s success. I encourage everyone to participate.”

To participate in the program, children must read alone or with someone else for at least 15 minutes each day for 40 days throughout the months of July and August. They must mark off the days they read on a calendar and send it to Assemblywoman Russell’s office at the end of the summer. Children who complete the challenge will receive a New York State Assembly Excellence in Reading Certificate. Last year, nearly 250 children in Assemblywoman Russell’s district completed the challenge.

For more information about the 2011 Summer Reading Challenge, contact Assemblywoman Addie Russell by email at or call her office at 315-786-0284.

1 The New York State Library,