The school year may be ending soon, but that doesn’t mean learning should stop. Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown kicked off his 15th annual Reading Rules Summer Reading Challenge on Friday, a program to boost literacy in Buffalo’s schools.
When a student reads seven books and submits a short summary of each, Brown said he or she will be invited to a prize ceremony in the fall. The reading program is meant to foster a love for learning and reading among Buffalo students. Brown says since its beginning in 2001, more than 11,000 students have completed the program.
“It certainly makes what we have all done over these years so worthwhile,” Brown said. “We want to see our young people succeed. We want to see our young people do well, and we know how important reading is to all of that.”
Buffalo Schools Chief Academic Officer Anne Botticelli said summer reading is important in a student’s development.
“Research has shown that learning doesn’t stop when you walk out of the schoolroom door,” Botticelli said. “We want to encourage all of our students to be readers and lifelong learners and we know that the Mayor’s program will help all of our students, will encourage them to read on their own and to grow their vocabulary and really open their eyes to the wonders of the world through this rich literary experience.
The mayor also announced he will submit an executive proclamation to the Buffalo Common Council that designates Washington Street, between Clinton and Virginia streets, as the city’s “Literary Corridor.” This new corridor will honor the many businesses in the area that promote literacy, including the Just Buffalo Literary Center, Plur-al-ity Press, the Western New York Book Arts Center and the Central Library. It also brings awareness to the fact that Buffalo has been the home to many great writers including Mark Twain and F. Scott Fitzgerald.