Today, Governor Susana Martinez announced the 2014 "New Mexico True"
Summer Reading Challenge, designed to help stop the "summer slide," to help prevent students from losing reading proficiency while not in school. Community partners, including UNM Lobo Men's and Women's Basketball Coaches Craig Neal and Yvonne Sanchez, business leaders, Albuquerque Mayor Richard Berry, and others, joined Governor Martinez for the announcement.
"It is essential that our children learn to read well in order to build a foundation for success in academics, and ultimately, for success in the workplace and in life," said Governor Martinez. "It is encouraging to join statewide leaders who have also made reading a priority for our children. I'm hopeful that all New Mexico students will participate in the challenge throughout the summer months as they work toward winning one of the amazing prizes we have to reward them for their commitment to reading."
The "New Mexico True" Summer Reading Challenge is open to all New Mexico elementary school children, ages five through twelve. All readers who submit a completed reading log with information regarding the six books they read will receive a "New Mexico True" bookmark and a certificate recognizing their accomplishment. Readers who submit their completed reading log with information regarding the twelve books they read, as well as a short essay explaining "Why I Love New Mexico," will receive a "New Mexico True" bookmark, a certificate recognizing their accomplishment, and have their name entered in the random drawing to receive one of the following Grand Prizes:
 All-expenses paid family vacation to Disney's Animal Kingdom in Orlando, Florida (1 reader)
All-inclusive family (of four) vacation to Red River, which includes overnight accommodations (for two nights), dinner (for two nights) and ski passes (for two days) (1
 Real-life fossil digging adventure in Socorro with an overnight stay and boat ride in nearby Elephant Butte (1 reader)
 Hot-air balloon ride with Governor Martinez and a family four-pack of admission tickets to the Albuquerque Balloon Museum (2 readers)
 A behind the scenes tour and a family four-pack of admission tickets to the New Mexico Museum of Natural History (2 readers)
 An adventure as a Junior Zookeeper for a day at the ABQ BioPark Zoo (4 readers)
 Meet a Lobo head basketball coach, free tickets to a Lobo basketball game, take part in a center-court ceremony at The Pit, and receive an autographed Lobo basketball (3 readers)
 Meet an Aggie head basketball coach, free tickets to an Aggie basketball game, take part in a center-court ceremony at The Pan-Am Center, and receive an autographed Aggie basketball (3 readers)
 A free admission pass for 16 museums and monuments across the state (200 readers)
These prizes are made possible by the State of New Mexico and its partnership with: the City of Albuquerque, the ABQ Bio Park, the Greater Albuquerque Chamber of Commerce, the Albuquerque Hispano Chamber of Commerce, the Town of Red River, the Elephant Butte Inn, the Marina Del Sur, X-Treme-Lee Fun Balloon Adventures, the University of New Mexico Athletic Department, and the New Mexico State University Athletic Department.
The New Mexico True brochure and reading log will be distributed to students at public schools throughout the state. It is also available at all local libraries or can be downloaded and printed from the Public Education Department's website. The program starts today, and entries must be postmarked by July 31, 2014.
Participating students must be New Mexico residents, and eligibility will be verified for any Grand Prize winner. For a complete listing of the eligibility requirements and rules regarding the challenge, please visit the Public Education Department's website.