Today, Gov. John Bel Edwards and First Lady Donna Edwards announced the first-ever “Bandit’s Book Challenge,” a reading program for K-12 students. The program is named after Governor and Mrs. Edwards’ son’s dog, a Golden Retriever, Bandit. As part of the challenge, participating students will be asked to read 10 books on their reading level in the 2018 spring semester. Each student that completes the challenge will receive recognition from Gov. Edwards. 

“Bandit is the king of our household, so it only made sense for us to name this challenge after him,” said Gov. Edwards. “Reading can be fun, and Donna and I want students to find time to read and use their imagination outside the classroom. This is a great activity for parents and students to participate in together, and we’re encouraging students all across Louisiana to participate. We look forward to stopping by some schools to visit with students who’ve decided to join in the spring.”

“Sometimes there’s nothing better than sitting back at night and reading a good book – to let your imagination run free,” said First Lady Donna Edwards. “John Bel and I love to read when we can, and we encourage our kids to do the same.  Students will have an opportunity to read books about things they’re interested in and hopefully learn along the way. We look forward to hearing about the new things the students have learned from taking a little extra time to read books during this fun Bandit Book Challenge. Who knows, Bandit might make a few appearances himself.”

All schools interested in participating should register the number of students they have participating online at by December 11, 2017. The required reading must be completed between Jan. 15, 2018 – April 16, 2018.

As part of the challenge, students are also invited to participate in a bookmark design contest. The designs should depict the importance of reading from a child’s perspective and maybe even include Bandit, our Golden Retriever. The winning bookmark will be printed and distributed to all students who participated in the reading challenge.