Make Reading Part Of Your Family's Summer Routine

Patty Ritchie

June 16, 2017

Senator Ritchie’s Weekly Column

With schools across Central and Northern New York wrapping up classes for the summer, kids and their parents are always looking for something fun and exciting to do. To help families make reading a part of their summer vacations, I am encouraging students to participate in the New York State Senate’s Summer Reading Program.  This special initiative helps children have fun, prevents learning loss and allows students to strengthen the skills they have already learned throughout the school year.

This year’s theme is “Build a Better World” and to participate in the Summer Reading Program, visit my website Parents and their children will be able to register there for the program, keep track of their reading progress through an online journal, and share that progress with friends and family. At the end of the program, students who submit a completed journal will receive a special Summer Reading Certificate.

While you are looking for books to read for this year’s Summer Reading Program, I would like to encourage students and their families to visit their local library.  Many libraries throughout our region host special summer reading events and of course, offer the perfect place to find a great book. For suggestions on the most popular books for children by grade level, check out the Summer Reading Program website. 

As Chair of the Senate Select Committee on Libraries, I know how important it is to advocate for the important offerings and services available at our local libraries.  I have been proud in recent months to have successfully fought for funding that will help ensure libraries throughout our state—including those in Oswego, Jefferson and St. Lawrence Counties—have the resources they need to enhance learning opportunities for all.

Last year, more than 2.1 million students across New York State participated in the Summer Reading Program.  I am hopeful that this year, even more young people will take advantage of this opportunity to build their literacy skills during the summer months.  For more information, do not forget to visit my website at