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Community group promotes summer reading

Photo courtesy of Buffalo Promise Neighborhood

School children in Buffalo are encouraged to pick up a book during the upcoming summer vacation and read.

The group Buffalo Promise Neighborhood hosted a "Kickoff to Summer Literacy" Saturday at Westminster Charter School.

There was plenty of food, live readings and face painting for the kids. But the underlying message was a serious one.

Pam Hokanson, president of Buffalo Promise Neighborhood, says that summer learning loss is a serious problem.

"It is, unfortunately, especially in areas where low income families live," Hokanson said. "Some children can lose two to three months of reading proficiency every summer."

Hokanson says more than 150 books were given away to kids during yesterday's event. As an incentive to read the books, students who successfully answer questions about what they read will be entered into a raffle to win prizes.