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November 14, 2016
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JP O'Hare

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State Education Department Announces 2.1 Million Children in State Library's 2016 Summer Reading Program

The New York State Education Department and State Library today announced that more than 2.1 million students and children statewide participated in the 2016 summer reading program, an increase of approximately 115,000 participants over last year’s program with 1.99 million participants.

“The annual summer reading program is an excellent resource for children and their families and caregivers,” said Board of Regents Chancellor Betty A. Rosa. “We are proud that there were over 2.1 million participants in this year’s program. Studies show that children’s literacy skills are strengthened when they read during the summer. Our summer reading program puts books in children’s hands and is offered for free at hundreds of libraries throughout the state. I encourage students to continue in the joy of reading throughout the year and participate in next year’s program too.”

"We are proud to announce that more than 2.1 million students throughout New York State participated in the summer reading program this year,” said State Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia. “The summer reading program is an excellent opportunity that helps students build reading skills, prevent summer learning loss, and prepare for a successful school year. I encourage children to continue visiting your local library throughout the year and participate in next summer’s program as well.”

“We thank our partner libraries across the state for managing a successful summer reading program and encouraging kids to participate in the 2016 summer reading program,” said State Librarian Bernard Margolis. “With more than 2.1 million participants this year, we hope to see that number continue to grow in the years to come. I encourage children to not only read and participate in programs at your local library during the summer, but also throughout the school year.”

The State Library partners with 1,100 main public libraries and neighborhood branches statewide every year on the summer reading program. The free, annual program, supported by the State Library in conjunction with the State Assembly and Senate, gives children the opportunity to access the vast resources of New York’s public libraries to support their summer reading. Participants receive reading lists and engage in educational activities at their local libraries. At the end of the program, participants receive formal recognition for their reading achievement. 

For more information about “Summer Reading at New York Libraries”, please visit or