HARTFORD, Conn. (CBS Connecticut and AP) – Gov. Dannel P. Malloy is urging Connecticut students to spend the summer with a good book.

The State Department of Education and the Connecticut State Library are kicking off the annual Governor’s Summer Reading Challenge. Schools compete based on student population and grade level.

Certificates will be awarded to schools with the highest rates of books-read-per-student and the highest participation rates.

Malloy stressed the importance of reading during a ceremony Friday at the State Library, where winners of the 2015 Summer Reading Challenge were recognized. The Democrat says the state needs to “cultivate an early love of reading” to ensure students thrive in school and have a bright future. He says Connecticut students are already among the top readers in the country.

The annual summer reading challenge began in 1996.

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