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July 08, 2015

500 books donated to Camden school for summer reading

New Jersey first lady an ambassador for the program

A school in Camden received 500 books as part of a summer reading initiative that pushes kids to spend part of their summer occupied by books to continue their learning, according to a Tuesday press release.

New Jersey first lady Mary Pat Christie signed on to be one of the “Reading Ambassadors” for the program. She joined the spouses of 43 other governors to help underline the significance of reading.

The Scholastic Summer Reading Challenge allows kids to win prizes and access original stories once they have logged a certain number of summer reading minutes, according to their website.

“I’ve found that reading with your children plays an important part in building their self-confidence, promoting pride in learning as well as inspiring a sense of discovery and imagination,” Christie said in a statement. “Reading is such an important life skill, so I am delighted to have this opportunity to nurture student learning and support literacy through the world of books being provided by this Scholastic initiative.”

The Catto School teaches more than 500 children in kindergarten through eighth grade. According to a 2014 school report card, 29 percent of students in the school were proficient in English Language Arts compared to 66 percent of students who are proficient throughout the state. A 29 percent proficiency rate, however, is better than the district average, which is 21 percent.

“We are grateful to the First Lady for selecting Catto School as the recipient of 500 books,” Camden’s Superintendent Paymon Rouhanifard said in a statement. “Across our School District, we are working to increase students’ literacy rates and open up the opportunities that come with being able to read, write, and do math well.”

The reading program is meant to avoid a loss in learning progress that can occur during the summer months.