Harder Kicks Off Summer Reading Challenge

June 23, 2020
Press Release
Distance Learning Expected to Cut Reading Gains by Nearly 1/3 More Than A Normal Year

Stanislaus County Ranks 44th in Literacy in State of California

Modesto, CA – Representative Josh Harder (CA-10) today kicked off Josh Harder’s Summer Reading Challenge, an effort to encourage young people to read over the summer and provide quality reading material. The initiative encourages students of all ages to read 10 age-appropriate books over the course of the summer and keep a log which can be submitted to earn a Congressional Certificate of Recognition. In addition to encouraging students to actively read more material, Rep. Harder is working alongside local schools and libraries to make books available at these locations and at summer food pick-up sites throughout the Central Valley.

“We struggle with literacy in America more than people care to admit – and our kids are especially far behind here in the Valley,” said Rep. Harder. “It’s really important that we promote reading as a community and make more books available to the kids who really need them. I’m proud to lead this effort, and I hope every student in our area considers participating.”

Students and parents interested in learning more about the program or signing up can visit a dedicated webpage on Rep. Harder’s website. Rep Harder is collaborating with local libraries and nonprofit organizations to distribute free books as well as his Summer Reading Challenge log and bookmark at locations throughout Stanislaus and San Joaquin Counties this summer.

Josh Harder’s Summer Reading Challenge is now more important than ever. Students typically lose some of their learning gains from the previous year over the course of the summer. This year, because of distance learning, students are expected to lose nearly 1/3 more of their literacy skills than a normal year according to a study from the Brookings Institution.

Representative Harder is a leader in efforts to promote literacy. As a member of the House Education and Labor Committee, Rep. Harder has repeatedly fought to protect key federal literacy programs. Last year, he grilled Education Secretary Betsy DeVos for advancing a budget which would completely eliminate several key literacy programs. Rep. Harder also made funding literacy programs a key priority of his funding report for the 2020 fiscal year.