Summer Reading Motivation: Scholastic Summer Challenge
It has been said, by a man who knows what he's talking about, that children who do not read in the summer lose two to three months of reading development, just like hockey players lose some of their skills if they stay off their skates and off the ice for three months. Personally, I hate to see the hard-won progress my child has gained during a school year go to waste, and I hate to see the first weeks of each new school year wasted on regaining what was lost over the summer. So, I am a firm believer in keeping up my kids' educational efforts during the summer. Perhaps contrarily, I am also a firm believer that summer reading, indeed any summer learning, must be fun, or at least attached to heavy rewards, or it's not going to happen. We've talked about various ways of motivating children to read during the summer, whether its having your kids dress up as their favorite book character for a literary dinner or making an educational scavenger hunt. Here's another awesome way: the Scholastic Summer Reading Challenge.
Essentially, the Challenge seeks to motivate kids to read by giving them an opportunity to log their reading minutes every day so that they can:
- earn virtual rewards,
- get free Storia® ebooks,
- watch book trailer videos,
- 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.
But that's just part of the challenge. Scholastic also provides parents with resources to help their kids, like:
- a Parents Facebook page, which provides free daily expert tips and articles, activities, discounts on books, and special Friday giveaways.
- monthly Facebook chats, with parent bloggers Amy Mascott and Allison McDonald.
- a free mobile app that allows kids or parents to keep track of the time they spend reading, called the Scholastic Reading Timer.
Lastly, and perhaps most importantly to some kids, Scholastic will provide a visit from Captain Underpants author Dav Pilkey and a plaque to the school that has the most logged reading minutes, and the top 20 schools will be listed in the 2014 Scholastic Book of World Records. Teachers can register their class (through June 30) 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. 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.
When I was a kid and our local library offered a summer reading challenge for which LPs of the Thompson Twins was the reward, I was all over that and read a ton. The technology and the rewards may be different, but the bottom line is still: motivate your kids well enough, and they will read. And reading during the summer is a fun and important venture. Good luck!
How do you encourage your kids to read during the summer?
Logo courtesy of Scholastic.