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'Kids Reading Across Rhode Island' Kicks Off at the State House

Providence, RI – Governor Lincoln D. Chafee announced today that Kids Reading Across Rhode Island, the 'one book, one state' initiative for students in grades 4-6, commences its fifth year with a kickoff event on Saturday, May 31. The event will feature Chris Grabenstein, author of the puzzle mystery Escape From Mr. Lemoncello's Library, and will take place from 2– 4 p.m. at the Rhode Island State House.

"It's a pleasure to have the State House serve as home to the annual kick-off for this statewide reading event," Governor Chafee said. "The ways that libraries creatively engage youth in reading helps keep children connected with learning throughout the summer."

The festivities include a talk by Chris Grabenstein, life-size board games, and hands-on science activities presented by Rhode Island libraries. Every family in attendance will have the opportunity to receive a free copy of the book signed by the author (while supplies last), and to meet the author. Grabenstein has written a number of books, including the No. 1 New York Times bestseller with James Patterson, I Funny.

The event also marks the start of the statewide Summer Reading Program coordinated by the Rhode Island Office of Library and Information Services and hosted by libraries across the state. Now in its 35th year, the Summer Reading Program is a cooperative effort to motivate children and teens to read for pleasure and to help them maintain their reading skills during the summer months. In 2013, 16,000 children and teens participated in the program at their local libraries, and 17,000 people overall attended summer reading events.

"State funded support for library summer reading programs and the coordination of educators for library programs are some of the many ways that the state bolsters public libraries in every community" said Richard Licht, Director of the Rhode Island Department of Administration.

"Local public libraries offer summer reading programs for children, teens and adults. We encourage everyone to visit their local library this summer to participate in reading programs and enjoy presentations by summer reading program educators and artists," said Karen Mellor, acting Chief of Library Services at the Office of Library and Information Services. "And of course, we hope everyone will borrow a book or two or download an eBook for free through their public library's online Ezone." Ezone is provided by members of Ocean State Libraries, the public library consortium.

Chris Grabenstein is the author of the New York Times Bestseller Escape From Mr. Lemoncello's Library and co-author (with James Patterson) of the #1 Bestsellers I Funny, I Even Funnier, and Treasure Hunters. He is also an award-winning author whose Haunted Mysteries and hilarious school presentations have won him thousands of fans. Chris and his wife live in New York City with three cats and a dog named Fred. For more about Chris Grabenstein and his books, visit

The Kids Reading Across Rhode Island program is a partnership between the RI Office of Library and Information Services and the RI Center for the Book, made possible through a vibrant collaboration of librarians, teachers, and student readers from across the state. The State House event serves as a kickoff for the annual statewide summer reading program, which has a 2014 theme of "Fizz, Boom, Read." All summer, public libraries statewide will offer free programs inspired by Escape From Mr. Lemoncello's Library.

The Office of Library and Information Services (OLIS), an office within the Department of Administration, is the state library agency for Rhode Island. OLIS supports and strengthens library and information services in the state to ensure that all residents will benefit from free and convenient access to library and information resources and services.

About the RI Center for the Book at the RI Council for the Humanities is a statewide organization devoted to promoting community enrichment and literacy by celebrating the art and heritage of reading, writing, making and sharing books. The organization was established in 2003 as an affiliate of the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress. To learn more, visit

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