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City of Buffalo Press Releases

Posted on: June 7, 2018

Mayor Brown Launches 17th Annual Mayor’s Reading Rules! Summer Reading Challenge

Reading Rules 2018 Presser

Mayor Byron W. Brown announced his 17th annual Mayor’s Reading Rules! Summer Reading Challenge at the “Library Ring” located outside of West Side Community Services, 161 Vermont St.

Mayor Brown was joined by representatives of the Buffalo Public Schools, students, the Department of Community Services and Recreational Programming, the Buffalo Police Athletic League, and Reading Rules! event sponsors. The Buffalo & Erie County Public Library’s “Library on Wheels Bookmobile” was also on hand.

Last year, a record number of over 2,000 students, in grades K-12, successfully completed Mayor Brown’s 16th annual Reading Rules! Kids Summer Reading Challenge. Mayor Brown started the program in   2001 when he was a New York State Senator to help increase literacy in the Buffalo and Western New York area. During his tenure as Mayor, over 14,000 Champion Readers in Buffalo have completed the challenge since 2006.

“I want to encourage our youth to register for my Reading Rules! Summer Reading Challenge,” said Mayor Brown. “I am proud to have established this significant educational program 17 years ago. Since then, thousands of children in the City of Buffalo and neighboring suburbs have improved their reading proficiency by participating in my Summer Reading Challenge. This program grows every year, and I can’t wait to see how many books our youth read this summer!”

“Once again, I applaud Mayor Brown for his leadership and commitment to literacy,” said Otis T. Barker, Commissioner of Community Services and Recreational Programming. “This is more than just a game changer, it’s a life changer!”

“Buffalo PAL is so excited to once again be in partnership with the City of Buffalo and the Mayor Brown’s Summer Reading Challenge, Reading Rules,” said Nekia Kemp, PAL Executive Director. “Literacy is the foundation for our youth to be educationally successful in school. We will be once again encouraging the youth who participate in our various enrichment programs over the summer to join the Reading challenge. Together with the Mayor and other community partners in the City of Buffalo, we are moving the needle to decrease summer learning loss in the City of Buffalo.”


“I applaud Mayor Brown for his 17-year effort to support and incentivize reading in the City of Buffalo and in our schools,” said Buffalo Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Kriner Cash. “The Buffalo Public Schools are starting early, with our ‘Raising a Reader” program, and following up with myON’s vast and acclaimed menu of thousands of online books for children and adolescents. Encouraging children to be proficient and joyful readers is key to success in school, college, work, and life.”

“AT&T is proud to be a longstanding supporter of Mayor Brown’s Reading Rules Challenge and we commend the Mayor and his staff for their tireless efforts to encourage young students in our community to discover the enjoyment and entertainment gained from reading,” said Kevin Hanna, director, AT&T External Affairs. “AT&T has a legacy of providing students opportunities to hone their educational skills to prepare them for success in school and future careers, which all starts with strong reading skills and underscores the importance of this fantastic program.”

“When we heard about the Mayor’s Reading Rules! Summer Reading Challenge in 2006, we knew it was something M&T Bank wanted to support,” said Dave Lee, Administrative Vice President at M&T Bank and Buffalo Police Athletic League Board Member. “This event touches on two themes we think are important to the future of our community, and that’s providing resources and support to the many students represented by the city, as well as promoting the importance and joy of reading.”

Between the months of June and August, students are required to read seven books at or above their grade level and complete seven book summaries by August 10, 2018. Parents can find more information and register their children using the online participation form on the city website,  All participants are encouraged to “Go Green” by filling out the electronic form and also submit their summaries online. This is the first year that Champion Readers will also be able to submit their summaries online. This will help both the City and program participants save paper by corresponding via email.

Good luck to all Champion Readers, and the Mayor looks forward to seeing you at the annual Final Ceremony on Saturday, August 25th at the Buffalo Niagara Convention Center. Mark your calendars!

This year’s sponsors include: the City of Buffalo, Buffalo Police Athletic League, Say Yes Buffalo, AT&T, M&T Bank, Alternative Information Systems, Bank on Buffalo, Variety - The Children’s Charity of Buffalo & WNY, Norstar, GBAUHN, Buffalo Metropolitan Federal Credit Union, National Grid, Veolia North America, UPD Dental Associates, The Buffalo News, Delaware North, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Talking Leaves Books, Buffalo & Erie County Public Library, Buffalo Bills, and Ingram Micro.

Background on the “Library Ring:” It was designed by Andrew Ferrarelli of Stanev Potts Achitects, Philadelphia, PA, and was dedicated on May 19, 2018. It’s hosted by the West Side Community Services Center and sponsored by Gardens Buffalo Niagara. “Library Ring” is one of the “Little Free Libraries” opening in neighborhoods citywide, part of a project spearheaded by Matthew Etu to provide access to books for youth in our community.

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