WASHINGTON, D.C. (WDVM) – On Monday afternoon, Mayor Muriel Bowser held a press conference, announcing the D.C Summer Challenge Kickoff, in Northeast Washington, D.C. As part of this challenge, the D.C. Public Library, and Washington Nationals have partnered to promote reading, as a way to combat the summer “slide”.

This partnership has been ongoing since 2014; encouraging children to read 20 minutes a day, everyday. Spearheading this challenge for the Nationals is first baseman Josh Bell; who was in attendance for the press conference, and spoke with children, and fans alike.

“One of the habits I started as a kid was keeping books by my bedside, and reading before bed.” said Josh Bell, “And here as a professional athlete, today; I think it’s a lot easier to cool down after games, when I can read, for 20 or 30 minutes, and kind of turn my brain off. Switch it away from the game.”