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The original item was published from 6/1/2023 2:00:04 PM to 6/1/2023 2:04:54 PM.

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Posted on: June 1, 2023

[ARCHIVED] Mayor Brown Seeks 2023 Reading Rules! Champions

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Buffalo, N.Y. – Mayor Byron W. Brown today encouraged City youth to start their summer reading as part of his 22nd annual Reading Rules! Kid’s Summer Reading Challenge. As part of the kickoff event at Buffalo Public School # 76 Herman Badillo Bilingual Academy, Mayor Brown and Superintendent of Buffalo Public Schools Tonja Williams were joined by Reading Rules! Presenting Sponsor Scott Bieler, President and CEO of West Herr Automotive Group, as well as students, parents, teachers, representatives from the Department of Community Services, the Police Athletic League of Buffalo, and generous sponsors. 

“Literacy is the foundation for all learning,” stated Mayor Brown.  “I started Reading Rules in 2001 when I was a New York State Senator to help increase literacy in the Buffalo area and since becoming Mayor, over 28,000 Champion Readers in Buffalo have completed the challenge.  Studies have shown that students can lose at least a month’s worth of school-year learning over the summer, undoing some of the academic gains that schools work hard to achieve. The loss increases as students age. The issue is especially challenging for low-income students.  As I continue to build an inclusive and equitable City of Buffalo, I encourage our youth to take part in this impactful reading program to further strengthen their reading skills during the summer months.”

Participation in this year’s program is easy and is open to any child in any public, parochial, private or charter school entering grades K-12 in any school district. Each participant who successfully participates in Mayor Brown’s Reading Rules! Kid’s Summer Reading Challenge will gain automatic entry into his deluxe raffle, featuring great prizes donated by area businesses and cultural organizations, including Children’s Books, Teen Literature, Books, Academic Supplies, Educational Prizes, Laptops, Kindles, Bicycles, Gift Cards, and more. The 2023 Reading Rules! Awards Ceremony is scheduled for Saturday, August 26, 2023 (10:00 am – Noon) at the Buffalo Niagara Convention Center, located at 153 Franklin Street. 

Mayor Brown started Reading Rules! 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 28,000 Champion Readers in Buffalo have completed the challenge since 2006.  

Mayor Brown continued, “Once again, I will partner with the Buffalo Public Schools, with the incredible support of the West Herr Automotive Group, in an effort to maximize the reading potential of our youth and encourage their developmental success. 20 minutes of reading per day can help increase literacy and a lifelong love for learning.” 

"There’s nothing our students love more than a good challenge and there’s nothing I love more than a challenge that reinforces and advances the literacy skills of our students," Buffalo Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Tonja M. Williams said. "As the school year wraps up, Mayor Brown’s annual "Reading Rules! Kids Summer Reading Challenge” is a great way to set aside time this summer to go on a storyline adventure while completing this worthwhile challenge. Therefore, I urge all City of Buffalo students in grades K through 12 to read five novels and write five book summaries between May and August in order to become champion readers and winners of the "Reading Rules! Kids Summer Reading Challenge.”

“We are proud to support Mayor Byron Brown's Annual Reading Rules challenge, which encourages children in our community to develop a love for reading and learning," said Scott Bieler, President and CEO of West Herr Automotive Group. "At West Herr, we believe in giving back to the community and investing in the education of our children. We are excited to partner with Mayor Brown and other local organizations to make a positive impact on the lives of our youth and set them on a path to success.”

"The Police Athletic League of Buffalo is proud of the number of students who will participate in Mayor Brown's Reading Rules Summer Reading Challenge", said PAL Executive Director Nekia Kemp. "Reading Rules promotes literacy proficiency in Buffalo youth. Our organization aims to improve the immediate and future quality of life for youth through enrichment and recreational programming in collaboration with law enforcement. We anticipate many students will accept this year's challenge. We wish all participants luck and look forward to celebrating everyone at this year's awards ceremony in August."

“We are proud to continue our longstanding support of Mayor Brown’s Reading Rules Challenge and applaud the mayor, his staff and the Police Athletic League for their ongoing commitment in encouraging young students in our community to discover the immense enjoyment and importance of reading,” said Benjamin Roberts, AT&T Director of Public Affairs. “AT&T fundamentally believes in supporting educational opportunities for young students to help prepare them for success in school and in the future, which all begins with a strong foundation of reading proficiency, underscoring the significance of this extraordinary literacy program.”

Mike Buczkowski, President of Baseball Operations, said, “The Bisons organization is once again proud to support Mayor Byron Brown and his ‘Reading Rules’ program that has made such an impactful difference in our community for over two decades.”

Jack McNeill, Delaware North Chief Corporate Affairs Officer stated, “Delaware North is a proud supporter of Mayor Byron Brown’s Summer Reading Challenge. Reading Rules! offers an opportunity for our city’s school-aged children to gain confidence and have fun while retaining important literacy skills throughout the summer months. With Mayor Brown’s leadership, and Buffalo PAL’s partnership, Delaware North is thrilled to help provide safe and fulfilling activities for Buffalo’s children all summer long.” 

Ellen E. Grant, PhD, LCSW-R, of the Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center stated, "For us, growing up in a housing project as six kids, the library became more than just a refuge from the summer heat. It was a gateway to a world waiting to be explored. What started as a task assigned by our mom, soon became a cherished opportunity to embrace knowledge and embark on countless adventures. It was there that I discovered the power of books, the joy of learning, and the wonders of diverse cultures. Inspired by my aunt's travels to Russia, I realized that reading does transport you anywhere. Today, my love for travel still burns bright, fueled by the belief that reading is the ultimate passport to adventure. Join me on this extraordinary journey."
 “Mayor Brown’s Reading Rules program has been a highlight of our summer camps from the very inception of the program,” said Say Yes Buffalo CEO David Rust. “We’re proud to continue this partnership with the City of Buffalo and get our youth reading more and developing those skills which will make them better students and better prepared for future success.”

Taking part in Reading Rules! is easy. From now through August 4th, students are required to read five books and write 5 or more book summaries. Participants are encouraged to submit their summaries online. Complete the below steps and receive your invitation to Mayor Brown’s in-person awards ceremony, which, again, will be held on Saturday, August 26th at the Buffalo Niagara Convention Center. The celebration includes great prizes, entertainment, breakfast and more. 


  • Download the Reading Rules Brochure at
  • Select 5 or more books per Ssudent! Free Books and Free Online Resources for E-Books are available at


  • Read 5 or more books from now through August 4th. 
  • Write 5 or more book summaries between now and August 4th. 


  • Upload 5 or more book summaries by a deadline of Friday, August 4th


  • Receive a special ‘Congratulatory Message’ from Mayor Byron Brown on becoming an official Champion Reader! 
  • Every Champion Reader will receive an invitation to attend Mayor Brown’s in person Reading Rules Awards Ceremony on Saturday, August 26, 2023 (10:00 am - Noon) at the Buffalo Niagara Convention Center. 
  • Every Champion Reader will also be entered into a Raffle Prize Drawing, and receive a 2023 Reading Rules Diploma, a Reading Rules T-Shirt, Bonus Prizes, and Breakfast with their Families. 

At today’s kickoff event, Mayor Brown also recognized the below list of sponsors for their generous support. 

$10,000 Presenting Sponsor:

  • West Herr Automotive Group 

$5,000 Sponsors:

  • Anderson’s
  • AT&T
  • Buffalo Bisons Charitable Foundation 
  • Buffalo Public Schools
  • Delaware North
  • Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center 

$2,500 Prize Station Sponsors:

  • Buffalo & Erie County Public Library 
  • Buffalo Sabres Foundation
  • Fidelis Care
  • The Teacher’s Desk 

$1,500 Book Nook Sponsor and Book Giveaway Sponsors

  • Buffalo Teachers Federation
  • Mister Pizza
  • National Fuel
  • National Grid
  • Project Flight
  • Superhero Alliance
  • Tops

$500 Kids Activity Station Sponsors:

  • Bank on Buffalo
  • Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield of Western New York
  • Say Yes Buffalo 
  • Wegmans

$250 Love of Literacy Sponsors:

  • Baby Joe Mesi Boxing
  • Phillips Lytle LLP


In-Kind Sponsors:

  • Buffalo Botanical Gardens 
  • Buffalo Metropolitan Federal Credit Union
  • Paula’s Donuts
  • The Teachers Desk
  • Walmart


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