A record number of students participated this year in Mayor Byron Brown's 17th annual Reading Rules! Kids Summer Reading Challenge, with 2,554 of them successfully meeting the goal.
Buffalo students who completed the reading challenge were feted Saturday at an awards ceremony at the Buffalo Niagara Convention Center.
Participants are required to read and write a summary of at least seven books over the summer. Those who do receive an award at the ceremony, as well as books and school supplies. They're also entered into raffles for prizes such as computers, bikes and video game systems donated by area businesses and cultural organizations.
The annual summer reading challenge aims to prevent the "summer slide" that happens when students' skills erode during school break. It's open to students from grades kindergarten through 12 in public, parochial, private and charter schools. It's put together by the Police Athletic League of Buffalo and the City of Buffalo Department of Community Services & Recreational Programming.