42 U.S. Governors’ Spouses and 3 Governors Are Holiday "Reading Ambassadors" to Give the Gift of Reading to America's Children


Lia Zneimer

Sara Sinek


Reading Ambassadors host holiday events to promote the importance of literacy
and distribute children’s books donated by Scholastic


New York, NY — December 18, 2012 — To reinforce Scholastic’s global literacy campaign, Read Every Day. Lead a Better Life., and to help get books into the hands of children who need them most, 42 U.S. Governors’ Spouses, plus the Governors of Illinois, Vermont, and Arizona, have signed on as “Reading Ambassadors” this holiday season. To ensure that more kids across the country have books to read at home this holiday season, Scholastic, the global children’s publishing, education and media company, is donating 500 books to the school or organization designated by each of the Reading Ambassadors.

Research shows that children who grow up in homes where books are plentiful read more frequently and go further in school than those who don't. Educators also know that children need reading practice at home, not just in school, in order to gain fluency and improve comprehension. The Reading Ambassadors play an important role in sharing these important messages about how to raise confident, successful readers with families in their states.

"I'm proud to see so many Governors and Governors' Spouses participating as Reading Ambassadors this holiday season," said Carla Markell, First Lady of Delaware and Chairwoman of the Spouses Leadership Committee for the National Governors Association. "It has been a challenging year for many states, and to see everyone come together for the good of the children and literacy in our communities is a true holiday gift."

"As a former teacher and school administrator, I am passionate about giving the gift of reading to children," said Lori Otter, First Lady of Idaho. "I'm proud to act as a Reading Ambassador with Scholastic Inc. once again during this holiday season and I hope that Idaho's young people are inspired to read every day."

The Governors and Governors’ Spouses participating as Reading Ambassadors this holiday season are (to date):

  • Alabama – First Lady Dianne Bentley
  • Alaska – First Lady Sandy Parnell
  • American Samoa – First Lady Mary Ann Tulafono
  • Arizona – Governor Jan Brewer
  • Arkansas – First Lady Ginger Beebe
  • Colorado – First Lady Helen Thorpe
  • Delaware – First Lady Carla Markell
  • Florida – First Lady Ann Scott
  • Georgia – First Lady Sandra Deal
  • Guam – First Lady Christine Calvo
  • Hawaii – First Lady Dr. Nancie Caraway
  • Idaho – First Lady Lori Otter
  • Illinois – Governor Pat Quinn
  • Iowa – First Lady Christine Branstad
  • Kansas – First Lady Mary Brownback
  • Kentucky – First Lady Jane Beshear
  • Louisiana – First Lady Supriya Jindal
  • Maine – First Lady Ann LePage
  • Maryland – First Lady Katie O’Malley
  • Massachusetts – First Lady Diane Patrick
  • Missouri – First Lady Georganne Nixon
  • Nebraska – First Lady Sally Ganem
  • Nevada – First Lady Kathleen Sandoval
  • New Hampshire – First Lady Dr. Susan Lynch
  • New Jersey – First Lady Mary Pat Christie
  • New Mexico – First Gentleman Chuck Franco
  • North Carolina – First Gentleman Bob Eaves
  • North Dakota – First Lady Betsy Dalrymple
  • Ohio – First Lady Karen Kasich
  • Oklahoma – First Gentleman Wade Christensen
  • Oregon – First Lady Cylvia Hayes
  • Pennsylvania – First Lady Susan Corbett
  • Puerto Rico – First Lady Luce Vela
  • Rhode Island – First Lady Stephanie Chafee
  • South Dakota – First Lady Linda Daugaard
  • St. Thomas Virgin Islands – First Lady Cecile de Jongh
  • Tennessee – First Lady Crissy Haslam
  • Texas – First Lady Anita Perry
  • Utah – First Lady Jeanette Herbert
  • Vermont – Governor Peter Shumlin
  • Virginia – First Lady Maureen McDonnell
  • Washington – First Gentleman Mike Gregoire
  • West Virginia – First Lady Joanne Jaeger Tomblin
  • Wisconsin – First Lady Tonette Walker
  • Wyoming – First Lady Carol Mead


"We are extremely grateful to our Reading Ambassadors, who are giving the gift of reading by reinforcing the importance of reading every day and delivering beautiful new books to children who might otherwise not have a book to enjoy this holiday season," said Francie Alexander, Chief Academic Officer at Scholastic. “These First Ladies, First Gentlemen, and Governors are serving as reading role-models, a position that can have powerful and positive effects on the futures of children in their states."

The Scholastic Reading Ambassadors program invites U.S. Governors’ Spouses to emphasize the importance of literacy for all children in their respective states. For the past four summers, the Reading Ambassadors have come together as part of the Scholastic Summer Challenge to send a powerful message to the students, teachers, and parents in their states about the importance of reading over the summer months. By coming together this holiday season, the Reading Ambassadors are once again ensuring that more children have access to books.at home. For more about the Reading Ambassadors program, please visit our media room.