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44 Governors' Spouses & 4 Governors Sign On As "Reading Ambassadors" For 2015 Scholastic Summer Reading Challenge

NEW YORK, NY – Forty-four U.S. Governors’ Spouses, along with the Governors of Colorado, Vermont and the U.S. territories Northern Mariana Islands and U.S. Virgin Islands have signed on as “Reading Ambassadors” for the 2015 Scholastic Summer Reading Challenge and will help spread the important message that children must keep reading throughout the summer months. To jumpstart excitement about summer reading, these Governors and Governors’ Spouses will each deliver 500 new books donated by Scholastic to schools in their states. In addition, many of the Reading Ambassadors will host reading events with local children to kick off summer reading.

The free Scholastic Summer Reading Challenge encourages kids worldwide to log the minutes they spend reading in order to unlock original stories written by favorite children’s authors, earn rewards, and help set a new world record for summer reading, with the goal of topping the 304,749,681 minutes read in summer 2014. The program motivates children to keep reading all summer in order to avoid the “summer slide” — learning losses which can occur when school is not in session.

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

Scholastic gratefully acknowledges the following Governors and Governors’ Spouses, who are serving as Reading Ambassadors for the 2015 Scholastic Summer Reading Challenge:

  • Alabama – First Lady Dianne Bentley
  • Alaska – First Lady Donna Walker
  • Arizona – First Lady Angela Ducey
  • Arkansas – First Lady Susan Hutchinson
  • Colorado – Governor John Hickenlooper
  • Connecticut – First Lady Cathy Malloy
  • Delaware – First Lady Carla Markell
  • Florida – First Lady Ann Scott
  • Georgia – First Lady Sandra Deal
  • Guam – First Lady Christine Calvo
  • Hawaii – First Lady Dawn Amano-Ige
  • Idaho – First Lady Lori Otter
  • Illinois – First Lady Diana Rauner
  • Indiana – First Lady Karen Pence
  • 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 Yumi Hogan
  • Massachusetts – First Lady Lauren Baker
  • Michigan – First Lady Sue Snyder
  • Mississippi – First Lady Deborah Bryant
  • Missouri – First Lady Georganne Nixon
  • Montana – First Lady Lisa Bullock
  • Nebraska – First Lady Susanne Shore
  • Nevada – First Lady Kathleen Sandoval
  • New Hampshire – First Gentleman Thomas Hassan
  • New Jersey – First Lady Mary Pat Christie
  • New Mexico – First Gentleman Chuck Franco
  • North Carolina – First Lady Ann McCrory
  • North Dakota – First Lady Betsy Dalrymple
  • Northern Mariana Islands – Governor Eloy Inos
  • Ohio – First Lady Karen Kasich
  • Oklahoma – First Gentleman Wade Christensen
  • Pennsylvania – First Lady Frances Wolf
  • Rhode Island – First Gentleman Andy Moffit
  • South Carolina – First Gentleman Michael Haley
  • South Dakota – First Lady Linda Daugaard
  • Tennessee – First Lady Crissy Haslam
  • U.S. Virgin Islands – Governor Kenneth E. Mapp
  • Utah – First Lady Jeanette Herbert
  • Vermont – Governor Peter Shumlin
  • Virginia – First Lady Dorothy McAuliffe
  • Washington – First Lady Trudi Inslee
  • West Virginia – First Lady Joanne Tomblin
  • Wisconsin – First Lady Tonette Walker
  • Wyoming – First Lady Carol Mead

Scholastic Summer Reading Challenge highlights:

  • More than one million students have logged over 100 million minutes since the 2015 Challenge launched on May 4, 2015, with more students signing up every day.
  • This year’s theme, “Power Up & Read,” showcases 12 original short stories written by favorite children’s authors that kids can unlock as rewards. The top children’s authors participating include: Blue Balliett, Patrik Henry Bass, Varian Johnson, Gordon Korman, Michael Northtrop, Maggie Stiefvater and Jackson Pierce, Roland Smith, R.L. Stine, Tui T. Sutherland, Lauren Tarshis, Wendy Wan-Long Shang and Jude Watson.
  • Free summer reading resources are available for teachers, parents and children, including summer book lists, daily tips, activity sheets, sweepstakes and more.
  • Bestselling author Michael Northrop (Tombquest series) and bestselling author-illustrator Varian Johnson (The Great Greene Heist) will visit the top U.S. middle school and top U.S. elementary school, respectively, that log the most reading minutes by September 4, 2015.
  • The top 20 U.S. schools with the most reading minutes recorded by September 4 will be featured in the 2016 Scholastic Book of World Records.
  • Quotes:

  • First Lady of Missouri Georganne Nixon, Chair of Governors’ Spouses’ Program for the National Governors Association: “On behalf of the Spouses’ Leadership Committee, we encourage parents and children to read every day and explore these well-crafted summer reading resources. Together we can experience the joy of reading and share the truth of Scholastic’s motto, ‘open a world of possible.’”
  • Richard Robinson, Chairman, President and CEO, Scholastic: “We greatly appreciate the support of these Governors and Governors’ Spouses, who are serving as positive reading role models for children and encouraging them to discover the power and joy of reading a book. The Reading Ambassadors play a vital role in communicating with parents the importance of independent reading, especially during the summer, and the impact it has on a child’s academic success and their love of reading.”
  • Summer Reading Statistics:

  • Teachers spend four to six weeks re-teaching materials students because of the “summer slide – the learning losses which can occur when school is not in session.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
  • The majority of children of all ages (6-17) say when reading for fun, they want “books that make me laugh” (70%).3
  • For more information about the Scholastic Summer Challenge, please visit http://mediaroom.scholastic.com/SummerReadingChallenge.


    • (1) Lasting Consequences of the Summer Learning Gap, Karl Alexander, Doris Entwistle, Linda Steffel Olson, April 2007.
    • (2) Summer Reading and the Ethnic Achievement Gap, Jimmy Kim, Journal of Education for Students Placed at Risk, 2004.
    • (3) The Kids and Family Reading Report™ 5th edition conducted by YouGov and Scholastic, 2014.
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