‘Check Out’ the New York State Senate’s Summer Reading Program

Senator Ritchie’s Weekly Column


Five—that’s the number of books experts say students need to read over the summer to prevent what’s known as  “summer learning loss,” the loss of knowledge and skills that occurs during summer vacation.

Preventing learning loss is key to ensuring students are able to build upon what they’ve already been taught and be successful when they head back to the classroom in the fall.  That’s why I’m once again partnering with local libraries and taking part in the New York State Senate’s 2015 Summer Reading Program. The special program—which is hosted along with the New York State Library—helps children have fun as they continue to build their reading skills throughout the summer months. This year’s theme, “Every Hero Has a Story,” celebrates heroes in literature.

Through the program, students keep an online reading journal to track the books they read.  Parents and guardians can also use the special website to stay up to speed on their child’s progress.  When students complete their journal, I’ll send them a special “Summer Reading” certificate in the mail to recognize their hard work. To register for the program—which is open to children of all ages—and obtain other resources like reading lists, students and parents can click here. 

I’m also encouraging students to “check out” their local libraries and find books to help them meet their summer reading goals.  On my website, you can find a list of local libraries, including those who were recently recognized through my “Love Your Library” contest. As a member of the Senate Select Committee on Libraries, I’ve been working diligently in recent years to increase support for libraries across the state.  I’m pleased to report that the new State Budget included a $5 million increase in aid for libraries, as well as $14 million in library construction funding, which will allow libraries to make upgrades to their facilities.

Reading is a fundamental part of preventing learning loss during the coming months.  If you have a child who will be vacation soon, I encourage you to make books part of the summer fun by taking part in the New York State Senate’s Summer Reading Program.