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Reading initiative helps local kids avoid the "summer slide"

The van is full of books, school supplies and t-shirts that say "I am a reader." (WHAM photo)

Rochester, N.Y. (WHAM) - The Center For Youth is launching a new summer reading initiative with the Rochester City School District.

The goal is to help kids avoid the"summer slide."

The "Summer of Dreams Van" made its debut at School Number 5 Tuesday morning.

The van is full of books, school supplies and t-shirts that say "I am a reader."

It will travel to five schools each week, to provide the tools to engage summer readers.

"Summer school, you know, often is seen as a drag- well not for these kids," said Center for Youth Executive Director Dr. Elaine Spaull.

"For these kids, summer school is a time to be busy, engaged, active, interactive, having fun getting treats, getting books, getting shirts, all the things that kids love," Dr. Spaull added.

There will be a different theme each week.

For example, this week's theme was camping. Next week's theme is mad scientists.

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