Governor Jan Brewer today unveiled her new Summer Reading List Program, a statewide collaborative effort to encourage Arizona children to improve their reading skills over the summer break. The Governor announced the initiative while speaking to schoolchildren and staff at Acacia Elementary School, in Phoenix.
"As a mother, my concern for education is what motivated me to enter politics nearly three decades ago," said Governor Brewer. "Now, as Governor, education is a cornerstone of my administration. With summer nearly upon us, I'm optimistic this bit of extra "reading homework' will help Arizona students keep their skills sharp and their minds active even after the school year ends."
The Summer Reading Initiative is a partnership between the Governor's Office, Arizona schools and the Arizona State Library, Archives and Public Records division of the Secretary of State's Office. Participating students are asked to read at least five books from the Governor's suggested reading lists that have been developed for students in grades Kindergarten through high school. The reading lists -- which may be viewed at ArizonaReady.com -- are age-appropriate and derived from the Common Core standards adopted by the State in 2010.
Upon completion of the books, parents are asked to log-on to the Arizona Ready website and verify their son or daughter has completed their list. The child will receive a congratulatory certificate from the Governor, as well as a coupon for free admission to the Arizona Science Center.
"Governor Brewer's initiative builds upon her significant work in childhood literacy," said Jaime Molera, President of the Arizona State Board of Education. "Rather than promoting a new educational fad, the Governor is attacking the problem of low academic achievement head-on by giving Arizona kids the foundation of reading and writing proficiency."
Research shows that early-childhood reading proficiency is one of the leading indicators of future academic success. This is why Governor Brewer has championed tougher academic standards to help ensure Arizona students can read by the 3rd Grade. The Governor also was able to secure an extra $40 million in next year's State budget to provide additional assistance to students who are struggling to read.
With those additional resources, programs like the Summer Reading Initiative and -- most of all -- the active involvement of parents and families, Arizona students will be better prepared for the more rigorous academic standards that will be introduced in the coming months.