The New York State Library announced its summer reading program on Monday to motivate students to continue their education during the summer.
“Summer means that school stops, but it doesn’t mean reading and learning should stop,” said New York State Assemblyman Tom Abinanti said. “Keeping fit over the summer means both physical and mental fitness. I encourage all families to visit their local library and participate in the program.”
The State Library spearheads the program and works with all 23 library systems in New York, which includes 1,100 public libraries and neighborhood branches. They collaborate with these systems to implement the program and offer state-level support by providing a theme, promotional materials, and idea manuals for special programs and events.
This year’s theme is “Every Hero Has A Story.” According to the New York State Library, the reading lists are designed to give readers a better sense of their state and to spark a greater interest in the state’s story. The books will also help participants explore aspects of New York’s history, diversity, and culture.
Four reading lists were developed for this summer based on age and reading level. The list categories are picture books, elementary-level, tween, and teen and up.
Participants of the program are encouraged to keep track of how many minutes and pages they read per day, as well as which books they’ve finished during June, July, and August. At the end of the program, they will receive formal recognition for their achievements.
Educators and government officials support the program and acknowledge the importance of reading as a supplement to a student’s classroom education.
“As a former teacher, I know how important it is to encourage students to continue reading during the summer months,” said Senator Carl Marcellino. “This program gives children a chance to learn, explore, and discover new things in a good book.”
In 2014, more than 1.9 million children and teens across the state participated in the program, up from 344,000 in 2000.
The New York State Library has a goal of reaching 2 million participants by 2017.