First Lady Carol Mead and publisher Scholastic donated over 500 books to a summer reading program in Laramie County this week. Mrs. Mead joined up with the Scholastic Reading Ambassadors program and 44 First Spouses nationwide to participate in this effort in hopes to encourage children to work on their literacy skills over the summer.

The First Lady Carol Mead said that education and literacy are priorities for Governor Mead as well as for her.

“We’re interested in good outcomes for children. We believe a whole host of social problems can be addressed through teaching children, through education, through literacy and so anything we can do to improve literacy in the state of Wyoming we want to do.”

The Scholastic Reading Ambassadors program aims to provide third, fourth and fifth graders books to keep reading proficiency up over the summer. The books are for the children to keep. Mrs. Mead said the books were supposed to arrive at the end of the school year, but flooding delayed their arrival.

“We decided that we still wanted those books to get in the hands of young kids and the county library was a logical way to achieve that because it has a summer reading program,” the First Lady said.

“We are thrilled to have these wonderful books to put into the hands of 9 to 12 year old kids so they can keep their reading skills up over the summer,” Laramie County Librarian Lucie Osborn said. “Reading throughout the summer helps kids maintain their skills and start out the new school year ahead of the game. We thank Scholastic and Carol Mead, Wyoming's First Lady for the donation and for helping kids keep reading through the summer.”

The Scholastic Reading Ambassadors program has been around for several years and the First Lady said she will participate in the future.

“It is our hope that next year we will have the books in hand earlier in the year and can disseminate them around the state,” Mrs. Mead said.