Office of Education

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"Literacy is essential for success in almost every endeavor, field, career, and industry. In fact, research shows that early-childhood reading proficiency is one of the strongest indicators of a student's likelihood of graduating from high school. Together, we can improve literacy, foster academic success and ensure educational excellence for all Arizona children." 

 Governor Doug Ducey, May 2015 

2016 Summer Reading Tour

For the second year in a row, Governor Ducey launched a summer reading initiative  encouraging Arizona's youth to stay sharp in their off-time by spending time every day reading and learning throughout the summer months. As part of the summer reading initiative, First Lady Angela Ducey visited several Arizona schools in May 2016 as a Scholastic Summer Reading Ambassador. During her visits, First Lady Ducey read to students and encouraged active reading over summer break, emphasizing the vital home-to-school connection during the transitional summer months. Scholastic Book Company donated books to each school the First Lady visited, putting books directly into the hands of children who otherwise may not have access to new, quality books.

“Making sure Arizona’s students stay mentally engaged and active over the summer months is essential to maintaining educational excellence year-round,” said Governor Ducey. “Research shows that early-childhood reading proficiency is one of the strongest indicators of a student’s likelihood of graduating from high school.”

The summer reading initiative aims to combat “summer slide” – the tendency for students to lose some of the achievement gains they made during the previous school year. Research shows that children who do not read during the summer months can lose up to three months of reading progress, resulting in a cumulative, long-term effect. Reading just six books during the summer may keep struggling readers from regressing. Studies prove that access to books is critical to addressing summer slide, and that children and teens tend to read more when adults in their lives encourage them to read.

“Reading is a great way to spend quality time with your kids and support their academic growth,” said First Lady Angela Ducey. “Our libraries provide terrific resources and I encourage all parents to pick up a book and read with their children for at least 20 minutes a day.” 

basis


STOP ONE: BASIS Phoenix Central  - May 9, 2016

Governor Doug Ducey and First Lady Angela Ducey launched their summer reading initiative with a joint appearance at BASIS Phoenix Central school on May 9, 2016. During their visit to BASIS Phoenix Central, the Governor and First Lady toured the school, read to students in a kindergarten class, presented book donations, and surprised the 1st Annual #WhyILoveAZ Bookmark Design Contest winner.

Click here to see more photos.

Maryvale Prep


STOP TWO: Maryvale Preparatory Academy - May 12, 2016

First Lady Angela Ducey visited Maryvale Preparatory Academy on May 12, 2016 as part of her summer reading initiative. During her visit to Maryvale Preparatory Academy, Mrs. Ducey toured the school, listened to students recite poetry, read to first graders, and presented book donations.

Click here to see more photos.

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 STOP THREE: Sunride Elementary School - May 16, 2016

 First Lady Angela Ducey visited Sunridge Elementary School on May 16, 2016 as part of her summer reading initiative. During her visit to Sunridge Elementary School, Mrs. Ducey met with students and staff, read to second graders, and presented book donations.

Click here to see more photos.

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STOP FOUR: Escuela Manzo Elementary School - May 19, 2016

First Lady Angela Ducey visited Escuela Manzo Elementary School  in Tucson, Arizona on May 19, 2016 as part of her summer reading initiative. During her visit to Escuela Manzo Elementary School, Mrs. Ducey toured the school, got a firsthand look at the Manzo's fabulous ecology program, read to third and fourth grade students, and presented book donations.

Click here to see more photos.

1st Annual #WhyILoveAZ Bookmark Design Contest Winner

Bookmark Winner

 

Congratulations to Smriti Sunil - whose design was selected by Governor Doug Ducey as the winner of the 1st Annual #WhyILoveAZ Bookmark Design Contest. On May 9, 2016, Governor Ducey and Mrs. Ducey surprised Smriti, a first grade student at BASIS Phoenix Central, to congratulate her on her amazing design. Smriti's winning bookmark design has been reproduced and printed for distribution to students touring the Arizona State Capitol Executive tower. Congratulations, Smriti - and thanks to all who participated!

Bookmark Winner

Bookmark WinnerBookmark Winner

  

Governor Ducey's 1st Annual Bookmark Design Contest: #WhyILoveAZ

Governor Ducey launched his 1st Annual Bookmark Design Contest on March 15, 2016. Arizona children ages 5 – 12 are encouraged to design bookmarks showcasing a "Why I Love Arizona" theme. The winner of Governor Ducey’s 1st Annual Bookmark Design Contest will have his/her design reproduced and printed on bookmarks that are distributed to students touring the Arizona State Capitol Executive Tower. The winner will also be invited to the Executive Tower for a meet and greet with Governor Ducey. 

 Rules and guidelines for this voluntary contest are included below.

Contest Rules:

      • Artwork and information must be completed on the Governor’s Office of Education “Bookmark Template” form (included below).
      • The theme for the 2016 contest is “Why I Love Arizona,” and all designs must reflect this theme. Participants may include a short description of their illustration, but this is not required.
      • All artwork must be original.
      • Contestants must be ages 5 – 12.
      • Entries should be submitted on 8 ½” x 11” white paper.
      • All artwork submitted becomes the property of the Governor’s Office of Education.
      • Children submitting their designs digitally should keep an original hard copy of their design.

Recognition for Selected Child:

      • The distinction of “creating” the official 2016 Governor’s Office Bookmark, which will be reproduced and printed on bookmarks that are distributed to students touring the Arizona State Capitol Executive Tower from May 2016 through April 2017.
      • Winner will be invited to the Executive Tower for a meet and greet with Governor Ducey.
      • Winner’s name will be printed on the back of the 2016 Governor’s Office Bookmark.
      • Winner will receive an official plaque commemorating the selected artwork.
      • Winner’s name and picture will be included in related publicity materials.

Entry Information:

Artwork must be received by April 15, 2016, and may be submitted via mail or email. The winner of the contest will be notified by May 1, 2016.

Mail to:

Governor's Office of Education
1700 W. Washington St., Suite 503
Phoenix, AZ 85007

Scan and Email: goe@az.gov with the subject line “Bookmark Design Contest.” 

Additional Notes:

      • Teachers: Please collect all submissions for your class and mail them in a single envelope.
      • Teachers, parents, and legal guardians are encouraged to use social media to share designs, photos of children working on designs, etc. Use the hashtag #WhyILoveAZ and tag our twitter handle - @AzGOVEducation - and we will do our best to share out as many designs as possible!

Printable Materials:

PDF iconbookmark_contest_info_sheet.pdf

 PDF iconbookmark_template.pdf

Read Across America Day

Governor Doug Ducey will visit Encanto Elementary School in Phoenix to launch Read Across America Day on Wednesday, March 2, 2016 at 9 a.m. After his visit to Encanto Elementary, the Governor will join the Arizona Cardinals at the Salvation Army Kroc Center for Read Across America Day. Read Across America Day is an annual celebration that calls for every child in every community to celebrate reading on March 2, the birthday of beloved children's author Dr. Seuss.

Find out more about Governor Ducey's Read Across America Day events here.

Summer Reading Program

Governor Doug Ducey launched the Summer Reading Program in June 2015,  encouraging Arizona students to spend time every day reading and learning throughout the summer months.

The initiative, a partnership with Read on Arizona and other organizations dedicated to the cause of childhood literacy, encourages all Arizona children and families to visit their local public libraries and sign up for Arizona's Summer Reading Program.

"Educational excellence should be a priority year-round – not just during the school year," said Governor Ducey. "Research shows that early-childhood reading proficiency is one of the highest indicators of a student's likelihood of graduating from high school. It also shows that summers without quality learning opportunities put our youth at risk of falling behind. Picking up a book for at least 20 minutes each day is an easy, fun way for kids to keep their minds active, prevent learning losses and keep all Arizona students on track for a successful future."

As part of Governor  Ducey's efforts to promote summer reading, First Lady Angela Ducey visited several Arizona schools in May 2015 to visit classrooms, read with students and encourage Arizona students to stay actively engaged in literacy efforts over their summer breaks. 

To view photos from First Lady Ducey's classroom visits, click here.

Summer Reading PSA


 
Dear Arizonans,
 
The school year is winding down, and students across Arizona are eagerly counting the days until summer vacation. As you head out with family and friends for a well-deserved break, remember that the learning doesn’t stop when the last bell rings. 
 
In Arizona, we’re committed to promoting educational excellence year-round. During the next few months, it’s vital that students continue to keep their minds active and engaged, improving on what they learned over the past year and preparing themselves for the next.  
 
One of the easiest and most effective ways to stay sharp during the off-season is by reading. That’s why I’m pleased to support Arizona’s Summer Reading Collaborative, a great partnership between Read on Arizona, the Arizona State Library, Arizona Department of Education and other organizations dedicated to the important cause of childhood literacy. 
 
Literacy is essential for success in almost every endeavor, field, career, and industry. In fact, research shows that early-childhood reading proficiency is one of the strongest indicators of a student’s likelihood of graduating from high school. As we continue to work towards high standards and accountability for all Arizona students, maintaining academic progress from year to year is becoming even more critical. A focus on summer reading can prevent learning losses and keep our children on-track for a successful future. 
 
I encourage you to take advantage of the resources offered by local libraries. Putting down the remote control and picking up a book for a little bit each day will help ensure our students are better prepared for the more rigorous standards we’re committed to implementing in Arizona. Finally, encourage those around you to read and share the importance of literacy in our communities and for the future of Arizona.
 
Together, we can improve literacy, foster academic success and ensure educational excellence for all Arizona children.
 
Sincerely,
 
Douglas A. Ducey
Governor
State of Arizona