As an avid reader, I know how great it feels to explore new places or different challenges through my books. As a kid, I ripped through every Hardy Boys mystery book as fast as I could check it out of the library; even today, I look forward to diving into the book on my nightstand at night.
As a parent of two young kids, Ceci & Tommy, I want them to develop their own zest for reading. I also know how important it is to start building kids’ reading skills when they’re young. Like any other muscle, your brain needs regular exercise—especially in the summer when school is out—to grow and develop.
That’s why I was so excited to visit five elementary schools across Rhode Island again this summer to deliver books generously donated by Scholastic and encourage kids to keep reading every day over the summer. It’s all part of an effort led by my wife, Governor Gina M. Raimondo, to ensure that all Rhode Island students achieve grade-level reading by the end of third grade.
At every grade level, Rhode Island students can’t reach their goals without their wonderful teachers. Rhode Island recently announced our 2017 Teacher of the Year, Nikos Giannopoulos, a special education teacher at Beacon Charter High School for the Arts. Mr. G has dedicated himself to his students, and teaches every day with a sense of kindness and compassion. I’m so proud of Rhode Island’s great teachers like Mr. G and so many others.
Especially when kids are out of the classroom for the summer, it’s important for parents like us to promote a love of reading in their kids. Every morning, Gina and I read with Ceci and Tommy. It’s a great way for our family to come together and helps our kids keep their reading skills sharp. We also try to lead by example—if our kids see us reading, we hope they’ll want to pick up a book themselves.