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Summer Reading Challenge offers exciting prizes for reading

May 22, 2013

ALBUQUERQUE, NM--With the school year coming to a close, Governor Susana Martinez will announce the launch of four summer reading challenges for New Mexico children, sponsored by a variety of community partners from throughout the state and offering an array of exciting prizes for participating students and winners.

The City of Albuquerque and the New Mexico BioPark Society are supporting, "Be a Reading Animal," one of the four summer reading challenges.

"Children who read during the summer retain more of the information they learned during the previous school year and are better prepared to go back to school in the fall," said Mayor Richard J. Berry.  "The partnership that exists between Governor Martinez, the ABQ BioPark and the New Mexico BioPark Society, and many community groups will encourage children across the state to be better, stronger readers and we are happy to be a part of this challenge."

The summer reading challenges are designed to help students stop the "summer slide," or the process in which students often lose some of their reading proficiency during the summer months and must catch up on their skills when they return to school in August.

"The New Mexico BioPark Society supports educational programs just like this through its support of the ABQ BioPark," said Julie Miller Rugg, the society’s executive director. "We are excited to participate in this statewide program and to encourage students across New Mexico to continue to learn during the summer months."

Students who participate in the summer reading challenge will be selected at random to win prizes that include opportunities such as riding in a hot air balloon with Governor Martinez, serving as a junior zookeeper for a day at the ABQ BioPark, throwing out the first pitch at an Albuquerque Isotopes game, winning a New Mexico True family vacation to places such as Ruidoso or Red River, going on an authentic fossil dig at a New Mexico dig site, and even an all-expenses paid family trip to Disney’s Animal Kingdom in Orlando, FL.

The Summer Reading Program is a fun and inspirational way to encourage children to read for pleasure. Not only will children who read during the summer have an easier time transitioning to the next grade, but they will also have positive memories of reading as much as possible to win unique prizes. For more information, please visit www.readingchallenge.ped.state.nm.us. Children are eligible to participate if they live in New Mexico and are entering the 2nd, 3rd or 4th grade for the 2013/2014 school year or are 7 to 10 years of age.

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