[Press release from the Office of the Governor, June 9, 2017]

Supporting the development and enhancement of student reading skills, First Lady Mary Pat Christie announced today that Red Bank Primary School in Red Bank is receiving 500 books as part of the 11th annual Scholastic Summer Reading Challenge. Last year, 43 Governors’ Spouses, Governors and Lieutenant Governors participated as Reading Ambassadors for the summer program.

 “I’m so pleased to serve once again as a Scholastic Reading Ambassador to help reinforce the important role that summer reading plays in learning,” said First Lady Mary Pat Christie.  “Reading is such a powerful mechanism that can inspire, motivate and encourage children to be successful in school and in life. I am excited that the students of Red Bank Primary School will have an additional opportunity to experience the joy of reading through this wonderful initiative.”
The Scholastic Summer Reading Challenge is a free program that encourages children to continue to read during the summer months in order to avoid the “summer slide” — learning losses which can occur when school is not in session. Ensuring that children have access to books during these months is critical to enhancing reading achievement.

“Summer slide” accounts for as much as 85 percent of the reading achievement gap between lower income students and their middle-and upper-income peers, according to Scholastic. Having children stick to a reading routine during the summer break is crucial to strengthening reading proficiency. For every minute a child reads, he or she is enhancing those reading skills.

Red Bank Primary School covers students in Pre-K to Grade 3 and serves more than 600 students with nearly 100 staff members.”We are beyond ecstatic to have been selected by our First Lady, Mary Pat Christie, to receive these special books for Summer Reading,” said Luigi Laugelli, Principal of the Red Bank Primary School.  “Our students, families and staff are grateful for access to quality literature, especially throughout the summer. As educators, we hope to instill the love of reading in our children and strive to ensure this love continues well beyond their time in school.”

In 2016, Newell Elementary School in Allentown logged 2,606,028 reading minutes, making them the number one school in New Jersey last year.

Nearly 250,000 children from 5,154 schools in all 50 states as well as 25 countries read and logged more than 204 million minutes during the 2016 summer campaign.

For more information about the 2017 Scholastic Summer Challenge, visit