The Ridgway Area School District conducted a summer reading program this year. The district received "stimulus" finds to operate the program so there were no "local dollars" used in the operation of the program. The program consisted of three separate weeks of instruction for students of Ridgway Area School District. The ability to read is so important in a global society. Reading is a "gatekeeper" skill that can either open up doors for advancement for students who can read well or keep the door closed to new opportunities if you cannot read well. Ridgway Area School District wants to make sure our student’s will be able to read well. The school board at Ridgway has made a commitment to literacy training for our students by making literacy instruction a nonnegotiable goal. The program has had an attendance of approximately 130 students during the three weeks with about 80 students being served (some students attended multiple weeks). I am proud of the work that the elementary staff has done to make sure the summer reading program was a huge success. The school district will be able to continue the reading program one more year with the stimulus funding available. In the future, the school board will have to make a decision about how to fund the program with local dollars.