HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — Gov. Ned Lamont is kicking off his 2022 Summer Reading Challenge, an annual statewide program encouraging students to read books during the summer.

This year’s theme is “Read Beyond the Beaten Path.”

“Reading is amazing because it opens the mind, it opens the imagination,” the governor said. “You can do stuff on the TV screen or Facebook but there’s nothing like having a nice book, or going to the library.”

State officials said about 9,000 kids participated in the Summer Reading Challenge and read 90,000 books, and students have read millions of books since the program began in 1996.

Each year, the schools with the highest percentage of participating enrollment and the highest number of books read by participating students at the end of the summer are recognized for their accomplishments.

Lamont recognized the top-performing schools in the 2021 Governor’s Summer Reading Challenge, during which 19,463 students participated and read nearly 189,200 books. The top-performing schools last year were:

Elementary Schools

  • Booth Free School (Regional School District 12)
  • Booth Hill School (Shelton Public Schools)
  • Burnham School (Regional School District 12)
  • Frisbie Elementary School (Wolcott Public Schools)
  • Lee H. Kellogg (Regional School District 1)
  • Washington Primary School (Regional School District 12)

Middle Schools

  • Abraham Baldwin Middle School (Guilford Public Schools)
  • Dr. Joseph S. Renzulli Gifted and Talented Academy (Hartford Public Schools)
  • Hillcrest Middle School (Trumbull Public Schools)
  • Tyrrell Middle School (Wolcott Public Schools)
  • Westbrook Middle School (Westbrook Public Schools)
  • Whisconier Middle School (Brookfield Public Schools)

High Schools

  • Norwich Technical High School (Connecticut Technical Education and Career System)

Unique/Private Schools

  • Riverview School (Unified School District 2)
  • St. Mark School (Stratford, CT)
  • Talcott Mountain Academy (Avon, CT)

Student journals, district reporting forms, and all other materials related to the Governor’s Summer Reading Challenge are available online at portal.ct.gov/SDE/CTRead/Connecticut-Reads.