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Governor urges summer reading

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Gov. Susana Martinez talks with 6-year-old Kimberly Ruiz, left, and 7-year-old Karina Garcia, first-graders at La Promesa Early Learning Center, about the summer reading program she announced on Tuesday. (Jim Thompson/Albuquerque Journal)

Gov. Susana Martinez talks with 6-year-old Kimberly Ruiz, left, and 7-year-old Karina Garcia, first-graders at La Promesa Early Learning Center, about the summer reading program she announced on Tuesday. (Jim Thompson/Albuquerque Journal)

Gov. Susana Martinez wants New Mexico’s children to read at least 30 minutes a day over the summer.

Martinez, along with Mayor Richard Berry, the University of New Mexico men’s and women’s basketball coaches and others, were on hand at the ABQ BioPark Zoo on Tuesday to promote the “New Mexico True” summer reading challenge.

The challenge, which started Tuesday and runs through July 31, awards prizes to children ages 5 to 12 who read 12 books over the summer.

Among the prizes are a trip to Disney’s Animal Kingdom in Orlando, a hot-air balloon ride with the governor and UNM basketball tickets.

“If you don’t read during the summer, you kind of forget what you’ve learned before,” Martinez told a first-grade class from La Promesa Early Learning Center that was on hand for the event.

Kids who participate must fill out a “reading log” documenting what books they’ve read and write an essay on the topic “Why I love New Mexico.”

La Promesa first-grader Paulina Gallegos, 6, said she already writes summaries of what she reads at school.

Reading logs will be given to students through their schools and can be picked up at public libraries and downloaded from the Public Education Department’s website.

The program is sponsored by several partners including the state, the city of Albuquerque, UNM and several business organizations.

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