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State Education Department Launches Summer Reading Program in Buffalo

By Drew Fitzpatrick

Buffalo, NY – Wearing sparkly antlers on their heads, third graders from Buffalo's Enterprise Charter School helped launch the 2008 Statewide Summer Reading Program yesterday at the Central Library downtown.

The "Catch the Reading Bug" program reaches across 45 states. Deputy Commissioner of Cultural Education Jeffrey Cannell says the program will help stop learning loss over summer vacation.

He says the program has grown significantly.

"We hope to continue broadening the appeal to reach more children," Cannell said. "In seven years, we've seen the program increase by more than 300 percent."

Cannell says the program is successful because the children get to choose what they read.