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Office of Governor Gary Locke
Contact:  Governor's Communications Office, 360-902-4136

Gov. Gary Locke Applauds Students’ Response to 2003 Summer Reading Challenge

Gov. Gary Locke today applauded the quick response he’s receiving from Washington students to his 2003 Governor’s Summer Reading Challenge. Locke announced at his weekly news conference that his office has received 361 responses since June 1 from children who have already completed the minimum 15 hours of reading required to meet his challenge.

Locke started the Governor’s Summer Reading Challenge last year to encourage Washington students to continue reading during summer vacation and add to the reading gains they made during the school year.

“I want each and every one of you to succeed in life, and being a good reader is the foundation of that success,” Locke told more than 50 children gathered near the Tivoli Fountain on the Capitol lawn. “I’m so proud of all the kids who have already met, or are still meeting, my challenge. I also want to thank all the libraries, YMCAs, Boys and Girls’ Clubs and other organizations for their support. We couldn’t do it without them.”

The students attending today’s event were from the Olympia Library, the Hands On Children’s Museum in Olympia and the Serendipity Children’s Center in Tumwater. The governor also told the children that if they haven’t yet started reading this summer, it wasn’t too late to read 15 hours by the Sept. 1 deadline.

The governor is urging all Washington students under the age of 18 to read 15 hours or more before Labor Day (Sept. 1) and report their success to him via e-mail or letter (contact information listed below).

Students can participate by being part of any summer reading program or by reading on their own. Students don’t need to sign up for the challenge; they simply need to read at least 15 hours this summer and let the governor know what books they read before Labor Day.

Locke today read excerpts from some of the letters his office has already received. “One student wrote to us on June 1 to say he had already read 15 hours. Another student told me she has read 45 hours in just two weeks,” the governor told the children gathered on the Capitol lawn. “I am so impressed by the eagerness of Washington students to read over the summer. It’s so important that you not lose the progress you made during the past school year.”

Each student who meets the governor’s challenge will receive a signed certificate from the governor and become eligible for a trip for four to Disneyland, courtesy of Disneyland and Alaska Airlines. Nearly 6,000 Washington students met the Governor’s Summer Reading Challenge last year.

Students can report their summer reading adventures to the governor by logging on to or by clicking on the link at . Students can also write to the governor at the following address: Governor’s Summer Reading Challenge, P.O. Box 40002, Olympia, WA, 98504-0002.

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