Buffalo, N.Y. – Mayor Byron W. Brown today celebrated the success of 1,700 students in the City of Buffalo who successfully completed his 18th annual Reading Rules! Summer Reading Challenge. Champion Readers and their families gathered at the Buffalo Niagara Convention Center for a celebration that included breakfast, entertainment and prizes.
“Children who read over the summer months maintain their skills and are better prepared to start school in the fall. Today I congratulate my 2019 Champion Readers,” said Mayor Brown, noting that Reading Rules! is one of his Administration’s hallmark initiatives that keeps students academically engaged over the summer months, while building on his continued commitment to foster an inclusive and equitable City of Opportunity where no one gets left behind.
“Through my Reading Rules! initiative and its many creative community partners, Buffalo continues to lead the way in reimaging learning in an equitable and inclusive way. I’m proud of the many City students who chose not to take breaks during the summer months; they opened their books, wrote summaries and took ownership of their learning,” added Mayor Brown.
Mayor Brown began “Reading Rules!” in 2001, while serving in the New York State Senate, as a way to address the literacy problem in New York State, specifically in Buffalo and Western New York. 20,000 Reading Rules Champions have completed the program since 2006.
Mayor Brown continued, “Reading skills are essential to put the children of our city on a path to high school graduation, higher education and careers. Improved literacy enriches not only the lives of individuals, but leads to a higher quality of life for the entire City of Buffalo.”
To become Reading Champions, children entering grades K-8 read 7 books from the provided list over the course of the summer, wrote a brief summary of 8-10 sentences on each book. High School students entering 9-12 read at least 4 books. Each reader who completed the challenge and returned their summaries to Mayor Brown was invited to today’s celebration and received a certificate of achievement.
Community Services & Recreational Programming Commissioner Otis Barker said, “Every child deserves a great education and the support and tools necessary to ensure they can be successful in school and beyond. We’re grateful to the growing number of existing and new sponsors and donors who partner with the City to help further strengthen and prepare our City’s student for the next academic year.”
Mayor Brown’s Reading Rules! Wrap-up celebration is made possible as a result of generous donations and sponsorships which continue to increase each year. This year’s sponsors and partners include:
Albright-Knox Art Gallery Alternative Information Systems Anderson’s
Buffalo & Erie County Botanical Gardens Buffalo & Erie County Public Library Buffalo Bills
Buffalo Civic Auto Ramps Buffalo History Museum
Buffalo Metropolitan Federal Credit Union Buffalo Niagara Convention Center Buffalo Pedal Tours
Buffalo Public Schools Buffalo Sabres Foundation Buffalo Teacher’s Federation Buffalo Water VEOLIA Buffalo Zoo
CB Emmanuel Realty, LLC City of Buffalo
Dave & Busters Delaware North Desi’s Produce
Dialo Stevens Videography Dietrich Law Firm
Dollar General Douglas Development ECMC Corporation Ferguson Electric GBUAHN
Iroquois KeyBank Lamparelli M&T Bank Mighty Taco National Fuel National Grid NFTA-Metro Norstar
North Park Theatre Northwest
OMG Photography Paula’s Donuts
Police Athletic League of Buffalo, Inc. Project Flight
Read to Succeed Roswell Park RP Oak Hill
SAY YES to Education Buffalo Spectrum
Talking Leaves Books TED’S Hot Dogs
The Teacher’s Desk Tim Horton’s
TOPS Friendly Markets University Pediatric Dentistry Upstate Farm
Variety – The Children’s Charity Walmart
Wegmans YourCare Zenger Group
In-Kind Donations were provided by Shea’s Performing Arts Center, Bounce Magic, Explore and More Children’s Museum, and Darien Lake, 10 WNY Superheroes. Exhibitors included: SAY YES to Education-Buffalo, Albright-Knox Art Gallery, TOPS Friendly Markets, Buffalo & Erie County Public Library, YourCare, Buffalo Science Museum, Explore & More Children’s Museum, University Pediatric Dentistry, Wellness Institute of Greater Buffalo, Drug Free World/Youth for Human Rights. Entertainment was provided by Face Painting by Katherine Pizzuto, Xanthe John, and Sarah Medina; Balloon Making by Clown Around Entertainment; Music by DJ Lorenzo @ DJ Lo Entertainment; Zumba & Fitness by La Movement; Hula Hooping.