Scholastic Announces Seventh Annual Summer Challenge
New York, NY – May 6, 2013 – According to the recent Kids & Family Reading Report, 99% of parents think their child should read over the summer, and parents also think their child should read 11 books. Today, Scholastic (NASDAQ: SCHL), the global children’s publishing, education and media company, together with LitWorld, an international literacy organization, are making sure every child reads books this summer with the Scholastic Summer Challenge, a fun and friendly reading competition that motivates kids to read every day throughout the summer months to avoid the ‘Summer Slide’.
Now in its seventh year, the Scholastic Summer Challenge is a free online reading program where kids can log their reading minutes to earn rewards and help set a new 2013 world record for summer reading to beat last year’s record of 95,859,491 minutes.The school that logs the most minutes will win a visit from Captain Underpants author Dav Pilkey.
“With the high expectations of the Common Core State Standards and other rigorous state standards, it is more important than ever for kids to keep reading throughout the summer so they go back to school reading and ready,” said Francie Alexander, Chief Academic Officer at Scholastic. “The key to making summer reading successful for kids is to make it feel more like ‘homefun’ rather than ‘homework,’ and to give kids the power to choose the books they want to read.”
The following are ways in which kids, parents, and teachers can all get involved in the Scholastic Summer Challenge and help break the world record for summer reading:
SUMMER READING FOR KIDS
From May 6–September 6, kids can compete in the ultimate summer reading challenge to set a new world record. They can log their reading minutes every day, earn virtual rewards, and even send their parents an exclusive e-vite to download a free Storia® ebook. Kids can also visit their summer reading profile page to check their personal reading stats and their school’s status, watch book trailer videos, and enter sweepstakes for a chance to win a Harry Potter box set, a signed copy of The False Prince and The Runaway King by Jennifer Nielsen, and prize packs based on series like The 39 Clues and Dear Dumb Diary. This year, Scholastic is also introducing an online Reading Meter, which allows kids to read their way around the world and learn more about important landmarks. The more minutes kids read, the farther they’ll travel— from the Coliseum to the Taj Mahal to Mount Everest! With each landmark, they can watch fun videos from Scholastic News Kid Reporters, who share interesting facts about each place.
SUMMER READING FOR PARENTS
According to recent research, nearly half of parents say their child does not spend enough time reading books for fun, and 92% of kids say they are more likely to finish reading a book that they pick out themselves. To help parents support their children’s summer reading, the Scholastic Parents Facebook page has launched a new content calendar that provides free daily expert tips and articles, activities, discounts on books, and special Friday giveaways. They will also host monthly Facebook chats, the first of which will take place tonight at 9:00pm EST. Log onto http://www.facebook.com/scholasticparentsto join parent bloggers Amy Mascott and Allison McDonald as they kick off the Scholastic Summer Challenge with a conversation about summer reading. Parents can also help their kids log their reading minutes on-the-go with the Scholastic Reading Timer, a free mobile app that allows kids to keep track of the time they spend reading.
SUMMER READING FOR TEACHERS
Through June 30, teachers can register their class for the Scholastic Summer Challenge and enter for a chance to win a free classroom library. Once a teacher registers his or her class, students can log their minutes and contribute to their school’s total number of minutes read. The school that logs the most reading minutes will win a visit from Captain Underpants author Dav Pilkey, and the top 20 schools will be listed in the 2014 Scholastic Book of World Records. The school in each state with the most minutes read will also receive a congratulatory plaque. Registered teachers can visit www.scholastic.com/summer to download free printables, activities, and age-appropriate summer reading booklists, which include titles chosen to meet the Common Core State Standards. Teachers can then use the teacher dashboard to track their students’ reading progress throughout the summer.
“We cannot afford to have our kids lose reading time in the summer,” said Pam Allyn, Executive Director of LitWorld and the author of award-winning books on children and reading. “As parents and teachers, we need to make the most of the valuable time we have with our children, and be sure they are building their lifelong ‘muscles’ for reading, stamina, motivation, and fluency. Let's make this time a powerful opportunity to create excitement in our kids for reading by giving them books they really want to read.”
SUMMER READING AMBASSADORS
To support the students in their states and encourage summer reading, many of the U.S. Governors’ Spouses will sign on as “Reading Ambassadors” of the Scholastic Summer Challenge. The Reading Ambassadors, whose names will be announced soon, will host summer reading events at schools in their respective states, and in exchange for their participation, Scholastic will donate 500 books to the school of their choice.