Governor Gary Locke’s Remarks
Summer Reading Challenge “Read In” on Capitol Campus Lawn
July 14, 2004

Good afternoon. I would like to thank you all for joining us today in celebration of summer reading!

What a beautiful day for a “Read In” on the lawn! It’s great to see such a wonderful turnout!

Reading is the foundation of all academic success. And it’s important that young people read during the summer in order to maintain the reading skills that they have achieved during the school year.

Summer reading also encourages young people to develop strong personal reading habits, which support a lifetime of learning.

In 2002, I began the Governor’s Summer Challenge asking all children under the age of 18 to read 15 hours or more during the summer. We are in the third year of the program and I am thrilled by the number of children who send my office e-mails and letters telling me about their summer reading!

It is not too late to meet or exceed my challenge. If you begin today you can achieve the goal of 15 hours by reading 20 minutes a day, 6 days a week.

All children who notify my office that they have read 15 hours or more will receive a certificate of recognition, signed by me, and become eligible for the random drawings for book prizes, and the grand prize of a trip for four to Disneyland!

I see that everyone brought their books with them. This is meant as a time for adults and children to read together.

I’d like to thank all of our sponsors whose hard work made today possible:
· First off, I want to thank the Timberland Regional Library, who sponsored today’s event with my office, and, in particular, Ellen Duffy and LeAnn Ingle.
· Martha Shinners and Jan Walsh from the Washington State Library have worked with my office on the Summer Reading Challenge and I appreciate their help and support today.
· Courtney Schieve and Jody-Anne Cherish with the South Sound Reading Foundation are here with books and balloons for the children. Thank you for your help.
· The 2004 Lakefair Princess Court is here to read stories to the boys and girls. I want to thank the princesses and all the folks at Lakefair for their support.
· We have Brenda Wendler and the “PAWS To Read Pet Partners” with us today. Thank you for coming. I hope many of you will read a book with one of their special reading dogs.
· Page Ahead helped with today’s events, and is also a sponsor of the Reading Challenge.
· A big thanks to Costco of Tumwater for providing water for today’s participants.
· And finally, thanks to Verizon, another one of the sponsors of the 2004 Governor’s Summer Reading Challenge. Just a few minutes ago, I accepted a very generous $15,000 check from the Verizon Foundation. Thanks to John Gustafson and Marilyn Hoggarth with the Verizon Foundation for being here today.
o With this money, we are able to provide 2,900 books to students who are participating in the reading challenge through 45 Washington Reading Corps summer school programs across the state. The grant will also provide 100 books as prizes in random drawings that will be held at the end of the challenge (total of 3,000 books donated).
o I would also like to thank Page Ahead for their support in obtaining and distributing the books, especially Sam Whiting and Jacki Crowthers.

Now, let’s read!

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