Summer Reading Prevents Brain Drain

A Legislative Column by Assemblyman Will Barclay
On your mark, get set, READ!

This is the theme this year for the New York State 2016 Summer Reading Challenge.

Each year, I sponsor a summer reading challenge for children of all ages.

Kids are challenged to read or be read to for just 15 minutes a day for at least 40 days during the months of July and August.

As they read, they’re encouraged to mark off the days on the calendar provided in the summer reading brochure, and turn it in to my office at the end of the summer.

Study after study shows that reading during the summer helps children retain vocabulary and knowledge they’ve acquired during the school year.

In fact, reading just 15 minutes a day can help prevent learning loss.

Reading time spent on this challenge can also be combined with other reading challenges offered at your local library or at your child’s school.

According to recent studies, exposing kids to books at a very early age can produce a lifelong love and habit of reading.

Reading is an accrued skill, which means the more children read or are read to, the better readers they will become.

If kids learn to like reading, chances are they will have an easier time in school.

Educators, librarians, and others vested in our communities all try to raise awareness about literacy and the importance of penetrating barriers that prevent some children and adults from reading beyond a certain level.

Students who participate and submit their completed forms will receive a certificate and be invited to a Summer Reading Challenge party held in the fall.

I enjoy meeting the children and families, and recognizing the kids for their hard work and dedication each year at the Summer Reading Challenge party.

I am glad the summer reading challenge has become a tradition for many families.

Brochures for the Summer Reading Challenge have been sent to local schools and the schools with distribute them to students this month.

Many parents say this program has made a difference in their children’s lives and encouraged a love of reading.

If your child does not get a Summer Reading Challenge brochure from their school, brochures are available at my office.

After the challenge is completed and filled out, families can mail or drop off their completed forms to my district office at 200 N. Second St., Fulton, NY 13069.

Listed within the Assembly reading challenge is a list of books broken down by subject area and age appropriateness.

Plenty more book lists can be viewed at

This site contains separate book lists for preschoolers, elementary, tweens, and teens.

There are also bookmarks to print.

If you have any questions or comments on this or any other state issue, or if you would like to be added to my mailing list or receive my newsletter, please contact my office.

My office can be reached by mail at 200 N. Second St., Fulton, NY 13069, by e-mail at [email protected] or by calling (315) 598-5185.

You can also friend me, Assemblyman Barclay, on Facebook.