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November 14, 2017
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JP O'Hare

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2.2 Million Children Participated in State Library's 2017 Summer Reading Program

2.2 million students and children statewide participated in the 2017 summer reading program, an increase of approximately 94,000 participants over last year’s program, the New York State Education Department and State Library announced today. This year marked the 25th anniversary of the State Library’s summer reading program.

“Reading with our children is such an important learning tool to help them build a lifelong connection with books,” said Board of Regents Chancellor Betty A. Rosa. “The free, annual summer reading program is a tremendous educational resource for our children and their families. Studies show that children’s literacy skills improve when they read during the summer. We encourage all children to continue in the joy of reading throughout the year and engage in educational activities at their local library.”

“Thanks to the efforts of librarians, educators and parents across the state, more children participated in summer reading this year than ever,” said State Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia. “We know that summer reading helps children prevent summer learning loss and prepares them for a successful school year. I encourage children to continue visiting their local library throughout the year and participate in next summer’s program too. I also encourage libraries to partner with schools and community organizations to promote the importance of summer reading and this vital program. By collaborating with other educational and community organizations, we can increase participation and improve children’s reading skills.”

The State Library partners with 756 public libraries and 311 neighborhood branches statewide every year on the summer reading program. The free, annual program, is supported by the State Library in conjunction with the State Assembly and Senate and partners like Hunger Solutions New York, the New York State Reading Association, 4-H and the New York Council for the Humanities. The program 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 book recommendations and engage in educational activities at their local libraries. At the end of the program, participants receive formal recognition for their reading achievement. Next year’s summer reading theme is “Libraries Rock!”

For more information about the summer reading program, please visit the State Library’s website or the Summer Reading Program website.