Dig Into Reading This Summer

By Senator Patty Ritchie
With the end of the school year in sight, many students are anxiously awaiting the summer months. While spending time by the pool, fishing, and playing outdoors may be at the top of their to-do list, there’s one thing students should do to keep their skills honed and their minds sharp – read.

As a mother and grandmother, I know how important reading is to a child’s education.  That’s why I’m pleased to participate in the 2013 New York State Senate’s Summer Reading Program.  This year’s theme is “Dig Into Reading,” and focuses on keeping students in fourth through sixth grades reading while on break from school during the summer months.

If your child would like to participate, please visit my website, www.ritchie.nysenate.gov to register.  Once your child has done so, I will supply the materials needed to successfully complete the program, including:

· Appropriate reading lists and a listing of public libraries in our area;

· A reading journal for each child who participates to help keep track of their reading progress; and

· Upon successful completion, a certificate and bookmark

As the school year winds down, it’s also important to recognize the teachers who have instilled a love of reading and learning in our future leaders.

Last week, I was given the opportunity to honor more than 40 educators from Oswego, Jefferson and St. Lawrence counties through my “Teachers of Excellence” program.

From teachers who have dedicated their entire lives to teaching and those who are just starting out to teachers who have devoted themselves to working with students who have special needs and those who have literally saved lives (one honoree couldn’t attend because she was donating a kidney that day to help a former student!), the group was truly dynamic.

In recognition of their contributions, I was pleased to award each teacher $500 in special funding for classroom enrichment. The funding—which represents a $22,000 addition to the increase in state education funding local schools received this year—will be used by educators for technology, supplies and other improvements in the classroom.

What a child learns in the classroom is just a part of their educational experience.

Research shows that children are more likely to succeed when they are supported at home.

By reading with your child, helping them with homework and providing them with books and other educational resources, you can help your child achieve excellence in the classroom.

I encourage you to promote literacy and keep your child’s mind active during the summer months by participating in the New York State Summer Reading Program.

Happy reading!