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The original item was published from 6/1/2021 11:04:00 AM to 8/26/2021 12:34:22 PM.

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Posted on: June 1, 2021

[ARCHIVED] Mayor Brown Launches His 20th Anniversary Reading Rules! Kid’s Summer Reading Challenge


Mayor Byron W. Brown today called on all Buffalo school students in grades K-12 to take part in his 20th Annual Mayor’s Reading Rules! Kid’s Summer Reading Challenge.

The 2021 virtual reading challenge is a fun way to improve youth literacy skills over the summer school break. This year’s Reading Rules! Challenge, which runs from June 1 through August 20, will once again include a virtual Champion Reader Awards Ceremony, which will take place on Saturday, August 28.

“I’m very excited to announce the 20th Anniversary of this tremendous program which has helped our youth keep their reading and writing skills sharp over the summer months and ready for the next school year. Over the past two decades, Reading Rules! has produced 22,000 Champion Readers and we expect close to another 2,000 to join their ranks this summer,” Mayor Brown said. “I thank our generous sponsors for supporting our youth to continue to read books and write book summaries during the summer months.
"We applaud the mayor's efforts to promote literacy, especially now after all our students have been through this past year. We know that reading competency is directly linked to high school graduation and postsecondary success, and as a community we need programs and opportunities like this now more than ever,” said David Rust, Executive Director, Say Yes Buffalo.

 "I encourage all students to read and enjoy books all summer long as part of Mayor Brown’s annual Reading Rules Program," said Buffalo Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Kriner Cash.  "Reading stimulates our imagination, expands our understanding of the world, and prepares us for a lifetime of learning.  Reading keeps students’ brains strong in preparation for all academics!  Keep up the excellent work and enjoy the rest of your summer!"

“Project Flight’s mission is to have every child have a book and read it at grade level; that a child will live in a literate environment whether at home or at school and that literacy is an entree out of poverty. To date, for this program, there have been over 100,000 books donated, worth approximately $1,000,000. Project Flight is honored to be a part of Mayor Brown’s Summer Reading Program,” said Project FLIGHT Co-Director, Dr. Betty Cappella. The Mayor, through this program exemplifies everything that is important to helping children become the heroes of their own lives.”

 “The Buffalo Bisons Charitable Foundation is proud to support Mayor Byron Brown and the Byron Brown Reading Rules Program that for two decades now has provided a wonderful opportunity for the children of Western New York to take their education to a championship level!,” said Michael Buczkowski, President of Rich Baseball Operations.

In a continued effort to help keep City of Buffalo youth and community members safe during the summer, the 20th Anniversary Reading Rules! Kid’s Summer Reading Challenge and Awards Ceremony for Champion Readers will take place completely online again year. 

“Last year’s very successful Virtual Reading Rules! Kids Summer Reading Challenge took a lot of planning and creativity, but we developed new incentives, including fun prizes awarded at the end of the two challenge sessions. We expect even greater success in 2021,” Mayor Brown said.

“Literacy and learning skills are some of the most important factors in wellness and health equity, which are core to our mission as the region’s comprehensive cancer center,” said Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center President & CEO Candace S. Johnson, PhD. “We applaud Mayor Brown’s leadership through the outstanding Reading Rules program, which has already instilled the love of reading in thousands of young minds across our region.”

Mayor Brown established this significant summer educational program 20 years ago when he received alarming statistics about local students who were testing below the New York State average in English Language Arts and Literacy. Since then, over 22,000 children from the Greater Buffalo-Niagara Region have improved their literacy proficiency skills by participating in Reading Rules!

Here’s how Mayor Brown’s 2021 Virtual Reading Rules! Challenge will work:


  • Read 5 books + Submit 5 Written Book Summaries between June 1 - July 9, 2021 to be eligible for a prize drawing during the week of July 12th!


  • Read 5 books + Submit 5 Written Book Summaries between July 12 - August 20, 2021 to be eligible for a prize drawing during the week of August 23rd!

Champion Readers who complete BOTH Challenge #1 and Challenge #2 will be entered into the Grand Prize Drawing which will take place during Mayor Brown’s Virtual Reading Rules! Awards Ceremony which will take place on Saturday, August 28, 2021.

Every Champion Reader will receive a 2021 Reading Rules Diploma, as well as a Bonus Prize Envelope filled with an assortment of prizes. Those bonus prizes include such items as: bicycles, bike helmets, laptops, Kindles, Fitbits, backpacks filled with school supplies, academic scholarship funds, and gift cards to Dick’s, Target, and other retailers.

Readers can begin signing up for Reading Rules! 2021 can register starting today at:

 Tune in to watch Mayor Brown’s Online Graduation & Awards Ceremony for Champion Readers, scheduled for Sat., August 28, 2021 at 10 a.m. @

Here’s a list of this year’s Reading Rules! sponsors:

Title Sponsors:
 City of Buffalo

Police Athletic League of Buffalo, Inc.

Buffalo Public Schools

SAY YES to Education Buffalo

Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center

Buffalo Bisons Charitable Foundation


Scholar Sponsors:

Project Flight

The Teacher's Desk


M&T Bank

Buffalo Bills


ECMC Foundation

Bank of America

First Niagara Foundation


Bookworm Sponsors:
 Buffalo & Erie County Public Library 

TOPS Friendly Markets



National Fuel


Buffalo Teachers Federation

Buffalo Metropolitan Federal Credit Union


Douglas Development

Ingram Micro

Variety – The Children’s Charity of Buffalo and WNY


Honor Roll Sponsors:
 BlueCross BlueShield of WNY

Lamparelli Construction

Mister Pizza

Phillips Lytle LLP


Dansa D’Arata Soucia

Univera Healthcare

University Pediatric Dentistry 


In-Kind Sponsors:

Buffalo Pedal Tours

The Buffalo and Erie Botanical Gardens


Paula's Donuts

SPOT Coffee



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