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39 Gubernatorial Spouses, 3 Governors and 1 Lieutenant Governor Join the 2016 Scholastic Summer Reading Challenge to Get Kids Reading

43 “Reading Ambassadors” promote summer reading in their states; Scholastic donates books on their behalf

NEW YORK – June 20, 2016 – Government officials across America are making a commitment to getting kids reading this summer. 39 Governors’ Spouses representing the U.S. and U.S. territories, along with 3 Governors and 1 Lieutenant Governor have signed on as “Reading Ambassadors” for the 2016 Scholastic Summer Reading Challenge to help support literacy in their states and encourage children and families to read throughout the summer months. To show their commitment, many Reading Ambassadors will discuss the importance of summer reading through reading events held at local schools and each Ambassador will deliver 500 new books donated by Scholastic on their behalf to schools in need.

Now in its 10th year, the Scholastic Summer Reading Challenge is a free global reading program aimed at keeping kids reading all summer long. Schools and families can enroll children for free, and throughout the summer as kids read books, they can log their reading minutes, unlock stories from some of their favorite authors, earn digital rewards and learn about great new books to read. This year’s theme, “Be A Reading Superhero,” encourages kids to be the best independent readers they can be and achieve a “summer leap” — a gain in reading skills that will help students prepare to tackle the upcoming school year. At the end of the summer, the school in each state with the most reading minutes recorded by September 9 will be named “Best in State” and will be featured in the 2017 Scholastic Book of World Records.  

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, Governors’ Spouses and Lieutenant Governors, who are serving as Reading Ambassadors for the 2016 Scholastic Summer Reading Challenge:

  • Alabama – Governor Robert Bentley
  • Alaska – First Lady Donna Walker
  • American Samoa – First Lady Cynthia Malala Moliga
  • Arizona – First Lady Angela Ducey
  • Arkansas – First Lady Susan Hutchinson
  • Connecticut – First Lady Cathy Malloy
  • Georgia – First Lady Sandra Deal
  • Hawaii – First Lady Dawn Amano-Ige          
  • Idaho – First Lady Lori Otter
  • llinois – First Lady Diana Rauner
  • Iowa – First Lady Christine Branstad
  • Kansas – First Lady Mary Brownback
  • Kentucky – First Lady Glenna Bevin
  • Maine – First Lady Ann LePage
  • Maryland – First Lady Yumi Hogan
  • Massachusetts – First Lady Lauren Baker
  • Michigan – First Lady Sue Snyder
  • Minnesota – Governor Mark Dayton
  • Mississippi – First Lady Deborah Bryant
  • Missouri – First Lady Georganne Nixon       
  • Montana – First Lady Lisa Bullock
  • Nevada – First Lady Kathleen Sandoval
  • New Hampshire – First Gentleman Thomas Hassan
  • New Jersey – First Lady Mary Pat Christie 
  • New Mexico – First Gentleman Chuck Franco
  • New York – Lt. Governor Kathy Hochul
  • North Carolina – First Lady Ann McCrory
  • North Dakota – First Lady Betsy Dalrymple
  • Ohio – First Lady Karen Kasich
  • Oklahoma – First Gentleman Wade Christensen
  • Oregon – First Gentleman Dan Little
  • Pennsylvania – First Lady Frances Wolf
  • Rhode Island – First Gentleman Andy Moffit
  • South Dakota – First Lady Linda Daugaard
  • Tennessee – First Lady Crissy Haslam
  • Texas – First Lady Cecilia Abbott
  • U.S. Virgin Islands – Governor Kenneth Mapp
  • Utah – First Lady Jeanette Herbert
  • 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


  • First Lady of Utah Jeanette Herbert, Chair of Governors’ Spouses’ Program for the National Governors Association: “The Spouses’ Leadership Committee and I champion reading as a basic tool for success in school, work, and throughout life. When my children were young, one of our favorite activities was reading together. Now, I love reading to my grandchildren. The Scholastic Summer Reading program provides endless possibilities.”
  • Richard Robinson, Chairman, President and CEO, Scholastic: “Our Scholastic Summer Reading Challenge Reading Ambassadors serve as positive reading role models for children all across the country, helping them discover the power and joy of reading at a young age. We thank these Governors and Governors’ Spouses for their continued dedication to the program. They are not only sending a critical message to kids, but also communicating with parents about the importance of independent reading during the summer months to ensure children’s academic success.” 

Summer Reading Statistics:

  • Teachers spend four to six weeks re-teaching materials to 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
  • 92% of kids who choose the books they want to read are more likely to finish a book.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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