First Lady Jane Beshear's Communications Office
First Lady Jane Beshear signs on as “Scholastic Reading Ambassador”

Press Release Date:  Thursday, May 28, 2009  
Contact Information:  Jay Blanton
Jill Midkiff

Catlettsburg Elementary receives 500 donated books from Scholastic

CATLETTSBURG, Ky. - To further the message to children and families about the importance of summer reading, First Lady Jane Beshear has signed on as a “Scholastic Reading Ambassador,” encouraging children across Kentucky to read four or more books this summer. One of 37 First Spouses to date from across the U.S. participating in the program, the Scholastic Summer Challenge literacy campaign seeks to raise awareness about summer reading to children, families, teachers and librarians throughout the country.

In support of Mrs. Beshear’s new role as a Reading Ambassador, Scholastic today donated 500 books to fourth and fifth graders at Catlettsburg Elementary for children to take home and read this summer. Mrs. Beshear met with students and faculty in Catlettsburg this morning to congratulate the school and encourage the students to become passionate readers.

“Reading is the primary vehicle on the road to success,” said Mrs. Beshear. “Students who love reading, love learning, and are more likely to be engaged in the classrooms. Children who are eager to go to school have higher test scores, stronger retention rates and are more likely to go on to explore post-secondary education. Today, we are helping to lay the foundation for a lifelong love of literature.”

Scholastic, together with The National Center for Summer Learning at Johns Hopkins University and Save the Children, launched the Scholastic Summer Challenge on April 30, 2009 to encourage children to read four more books over the summer to combat the “summer slide” and loss of skills gained during the previous school year.

All summer long, children can go online and join a team, record the minutes they spend reading and earn points for prizes. Also on the Web site, students can play games, connect with other readers, find books for their age and interest and contribute to a worthwhile cause. At the end of the summer, Scholastic will make a financial contribution to Save the Children's U.S. programs on behalf of all the participating readers. The Summer Challenge online team with the most points will get to vote on which Save the Children program gets an extra donation.

For more information about the Summer Reading Challenge and Mrs. Beshear’s role as a reading ambassador, visit