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Meng urges parents to read with children

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Elementary school students who participate in the Challenge by reading with a parent for 15 minutes a day for at least 40 days during July and August will receive a New York State Assembly Excellence in Reading Certificate. By recognizing students' initiatives in reading, the Assembly hopes to encourage their continuation of that worthwhile activity.

"We hope that the certificate of excellence will be a constant reminder that reading is important at any stage in life but especially as an elementary school student," said Sandra Ung, a spokeswoman for Meng.

With mounting evidence that reading helps youths to develop communication and thinking skills at an earlier age, Meng advises parents to be mindful of their children's progress in literacy.

"Reading helps with speech, vocabulary and pronunciation and teaches listening - great tools for excelling in school," he said.

The bipartisan budget recently passed by the New York State Assembly includes a $4.5 million increase for libraries. Meng suggested that families "celebrate" the funds increase by borrowing books from their local libraries this summer.

"The Assembly program and the statewide effort pave the way for learning, achievement and success," Meng said. "With hundreds of public libraries in New York State holding thousands of books, the stacks become a literary playground."

Meng urged children to "read their way through summer" and parents to "spend time with your children and a good book." He also reminded parents that reading aloud from newspapers, can labels, and cereal boxes are all ways to boost children's reading abilities and maximize their opportunities to enjoy reading's "endless rewards."

Parents can contact their local schools for information on the Challenge. They can also write to Assemblyman Meng at 39-07 Prince St. #3C, Flushing, New York 11354; e-mail him at mengj@assembly.state.ny.us or call his district office at (718) 939-0195.

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