Summer Reading Challenge: A Great Way To Maintain Mental Sharpness

Weekly Column from Assembly Minority Leader Will Barclay

Each summer, I challenge children in the 120th Assembly District to take some time and explore worlds both real and imaginary during the New York State Assembly Summer Reading Challenge. This year’s challenge, themed “Oceans of Possibilities,” encourages young students to read nautical-themed books and literature for at least 15 minutes each day for 40 days during July and August.

Independent reading provides young minds the opportunity to broaden their horizons and enrich themselves with stories and topics they find interesting and engaging. School-assigned reading is important, but so too is allowing children the freedom to explore the virtually unlimited library of reading materials in areas they love or wish to discover further.

To that end, I am pleased to announce I am again partnering with Oswego Bookmobile to help ensure children in our communities have access to reading materials and brain-building activities throughout the non-school months. Oswego Bookmobile will travel throughout the Oswego area from Tuesday, July 5 to Friday, Aug. 19 to give away free books.

As such, they will be making weekly stops at the following locations:

Leighton Elementary, Fort Ontario, East Park, Kingsford Park, Hamilton Homes, Breitbeck Park, West Park, Fitzhugh Park, Hillcrest Trailer Park, Hill Top Trailer Park, Maiden Lane Trailer Park, SUNY Oswego Children’s Center, Little Luke’s, Oak Hill Park and Scriba Town Park. For a full schedule and times, please visit the Oswego Bookmobile Web site.

Additionally, our local libraries are another amazing source of free reading material and other essential educational resources. They also provide family summer reading programming if you’re looking for some structured activities to do with the kids. These wonderful options help ensure both children and adults can continue to grow and learn year round, and we are extremely lucky to have such great facilities in our district. To locate your local library’s hours and addresses in the North Country Public Library system, visit Baldwinsville Public Library at

As the summer continues, it can be easy to slide away from academic endeavors like reading challenges and library programming. However, they are important ways to keep students engaged and their minds sharp. I hope you take part in these activities and that your children experience an “Ocean of Possibilities” all summer long.