First Lady Jane Beshear's Communications Office
First Lady renews commitment as 'Scholastic Reading Ambassador'

Press Release Date:  Thursday, April 15, 2010  
Contact Information:  Elizabeth Roach

Mt. Washington Elementary receives 500 donated books from Scholastic

MT. WASHINGTON, Ky. – First Lady Jane Beshear is again joining First Spouses from across the country to serve as a “Scholastic Reading Ambassador” promoting the importance of reading to students across Kentucky. This is the second year that Mrs. Beshear has participated in the Scholastic Summer Challenge literacy campaign, which seeks to raise awareness about summer reading to children, families, teachers and librarians.

In support of Mrs. Beshear’s commitment to summer reading, Scholastic today donated 500 books to students at Mt. Washington Elementary for children to take home and read this summer. Mrs. Beshear met with students and faculty in Mt. Washington this morning to congratulate the school and to encourage the students to become dedicated readers.

“I am delighted to serve as a Reading Ambassador for a second time,” said First Lady Jane Beshear. “Encouraging young people to engage in summer reading will not only build their language skills and reading comprehension, but will also enhance their academic potential. Students who take part in educational activities over the summer have been shown to have greater academic achievement, higher graduation rates and more post-secondary success.”

Scholastic, together with Reading is Fundamental and the National Summer Learning Association, is launching the Scholastic Summer Challenge on April 30 to encourage children to read four or more books over the summer to combat the “summer slide” and loss of skills gained during the previous school year.

As a Web-based literacy campaign also known as a “virtual reading camp,” the Summer Challenge provides a place for children to go online and join a team, record the minutes they spend reading and earn points for prizes. Students can also 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, the 20 schools with the most recorded reading minutes will be included in the 2011 edition of the Scholastic Book of World Records. In addition, Scholastic will contribute 50,000 books to needy children through Reading is Fundamental, a children’s literacy nonprofit, on behalf of all the participating readers.

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