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U.S. Governors and Governors’ Spouses Sign On as Scholastic Summer Reading Challenge “Reading Ambassadors”

New York, NY — U.S. Governors and Governors’ Spouses have pledged to help spread the important message about children reading over the summer by signing on as Reading Ambassadors for the 2014 Scholastic Summer Reading Challenge, a free, global reading program that motivates children to read throughout the out-of-school summer months in order to prevent the effects of the “summer slide” – the learning losses which can occur when school is not in session. Forty-twoGovernors’ Spouses, plus the Governors of Arizona, Colorado, Illinois and Vermont, will host reading events and/or provide book donations to schools in their respective states. In honor of each Reading Ambassador, Scholastic will donate 500 books to the school of his or her choice.

Teachers, schools and families can register their children in grades K–8 and access free summer reading tools at scholastic.com/summer.

The following Governors and Governors’ Spouses are serving as Reading Ambassadors for the 2014 Scholastic Summer Reading Challenge:

  • Alabama – First Lady Dianne Bentley
  • Alaska – First Lady Sandy Parnell
  • Arizona – Governor Janice Brewer
  • Arkansas – First Lady Ginger Beebe
  • California – First Lady Anne Brown
  • Colorado – Governor John Hickenlooper
  • Connecticut – First Lady Cathy Malloy
  • Delaware – First Lady Carla Markell
  • Florida – First Lady Ann Scott
  • Georgia – First Lady Sandra Deal
  • Hawaii – First Lady Dr. Nancie Caraway
  • Idaho – First Lady Lori Otter
  • Illinois – Governor Pat Quinn
  • Iowa – First Lady Christine Branstad
  • Kansas – First Lady Mary Brownback
  • Kentucky – First Lady Jane Beshear
  • Louisiana – First Lady Supriya Jindal
  • Maine – First Lady Ann LePage
  • Maryland – First Lady Judge Katie O’Malley
  • Michigan – First Lady Sue Snyder
  • Mississippi – First Lady Deborah Bryant
  • Missouri – First Lady Georganne Nixon
  • Montana – First Lady Lisa Bullock
  • Nebraska – First Lady Sally Ganem
  • Nevada – First Lady Kathleen Sandoval
  • New Hampshire – First Gentleman Tom Hassan
  • New Mexico – First Gentleman Chuck Franco
  • North Carolina – First Lady Ann McCrory
  • North Dakota – First Lady Betsy Dalrymple
  • Ohio – First Lady Karen Waldbillig Kasich
  • Oklahoma – First Gentleman Wade Christensen
  • Oregon – First Lady Cylvia Hayes
  • Pennsylvania – First Lady Susan Corbett
  • Rhode Island – First Lady Stephanie Chafee
  • South Carolina – First Gentleman Michael Haley
  • South Dakota – First Lady Linda Daugaard
  • St. Thomas Virgin Islands – First Lady Cecile de Jongh
  • Tennessee – First Lady Crissy Haslam
  • Texas – First Lady Anita Perry
  • Utah – First Lady Jeanette Herbert
  • Vermont – Governor Peter Shumlin
  • Virginia – First Lady Dorothy McAuliffe
  • Washington – First Lady Trudi Inslee
  • West Virginia – First Lady Joanne Jaeger Tomblin
  • Wisconsin – First Lady Tonette Walker
  • Wyoming – First Lady Carol Mead

Scholastic Summer Reading Challenge highlights:

  • More than one million students have logged over 136 million minutes to date, with more students signing up every day. Their goal is to beat last year’s summer reading world record of 176,438,473 minutes read. 
  • Free summer reading resources are available for teachers, parents and children, including summer booklists, expert tips, activity sheets and more.
  • Bestselling author Gordon Korman (The Hypnotists) and bestselling author-illustrator David Shannon(Bugs in My Hair!) will visit the top U.S. middle school and top U.S. elementary school, respectively, with the most reading minutes logged by September 5, 2014.
  • The top 20 U.S. schools with the most reading minutes recorded by September 5 will be featured in the2015 Scholastic Book of World Records.  
  • Summer reading apps include the Scholastic Reading Timeran app to enter reading minutes on-the-go, and the Scholastic Parents Facebook calendar app, which features daily links ranging from expert tips to articles to family-friendly activities.


  • “It’s up to us—the parents, teachers, and community leaders across the country—to come together and send a powerful message to our children about the importance and joy of reading during the summer,” said Oklahoma First Gentleman Wade Christensen, Chairman of the Spouses’ Leadership Committee for the National Governors Association. “By putting books into the hands of children nationwide, we are encouraging them to spark their imaginations. At the same time, they will develop their vocabulary, comprehension and critical thinking skills. Whether reading independently or with their parents, all that matters is that children are reading.”
  • “We are extremely thankful for the ever-growing support from these Governors and Governors’ Spouses, who are encouraging students to not only strengthen their reading skills but also to be inspired by the stories, characters and ideas they can discover in great books,” said Richard Robinson, Chairman, President and CEO, Scholastic. “The Reading Ambassadors serve as positive reading role-models for students in their states and play a vital role in communicating with parents about the importance of summer reading for their child’s educational growth and for developing a lifelong love of reading.”

Summer reading statistics:

  • Teachers spend four to six weeks re-teaching materials students have forgotten over the summer months because of the summer slide.1
  • Children who read four or more books over the summer fare better on reading-comprehension tests in the fall than their peers who read one or no books over the summer –  regardless of ethnicity, socioeconomic level or previous achievement.2
  • 85% of the reading achievement gap between lower-income students and their middle- and upper-income peers occurs due to summer learning losses.3
  • 49% of parents feel their children do not spend enough time reading books for fun.4

For more information about Scholastic and the Scholastic Summer Reading Challenge, please visit theScholastic media room at http://mediaroom.scholastic.com.


  • Lasting Consequences of the Summer Learning Gap, Karl Alexander, Doris Entwistle, Linda Steffel Olson, April 2007.
  • Summer Reading and the Ethnic Achievement Gap, Jimmy Kim, Journal of Education for Students Placed at Risk, 2004.
  • Why Summer Matters in the Rich/Poor Achievement Gap, Richard Allington and Anne McGill-Frazen, August 2009.
  • The Kids and Family Reading Report™ 4th edition conducted by Harrison Group and Scholastic, 2012.
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