Tuesday, June 24, 2014
But did you know that studies show that early and sustained summer learning opportunities improve academic outcomes for youth and lead to higher graduation rates and better preparation for college? We've all heard of the "Summer Slide," but how many parents take active steps to prevent it?
This summer, as well as ensuring that your child's skills don't experience a setback, ensuring easy and continued access to books for summer reading is even easier (and much more fun) thanks to Scholastic's Summer Reading Challenge.
Now in its 8th year, the Summer Reading Challenge program is a free, online/mobile reading program that helps prepare kids for back-to-school by encouraging them to read every day all summer long.
Kids simply keep track of the number of minutes that they have read and, along with their peers, see if the cumulative amount can beat the world record! In 2013, Scholastic inspired more than 130,000 kids from 4,200 schools in all 50 States and 31 countries to set a new record for summer reading of 176 million-plus minutes!
How cool is that? This year Scholastic has added a unique twist to the Summer Reading Challenge by giving it a theme of "Reading Under the Stars" (powered by EVEREADY®) to encourage kids to go outside and open their worlds to reading. Throughout the summer, kids will read around the galaxy and unlock star constellations as they log their reading minutes, enter sweepstakes to win fabulous prizes, and earn digital rewards when they complete weekly reading challenges!
Both of my children absolutely love reading, so it was a no-brainer that we headed right over to Summer Reading Challenge website and couldn't wait to sign up.
Right off the bat, I appreciate the way that Scholastic divided their site into three clear categories for kids, educators and parents. Whether you are visiting to log reading minutes, discover book lists, track reading progress or more, it's all only a click or two away.
While my kids definitely wanted to start logging their minutes and earning rewards, we browsed around a little more (videos with messages from authors and astronauts! A map of the world so that you can see how your school's reading minutes compare! Puzzles, games and polls!) before completing the fast and easy registration process.
I'm not sure we could be any more excited about summer reading!
As well as everything that we've been enjoying on the Summer Reading Challenge website, Scholastic has even included a host of other fun additions.
First, the Scholastic Reading Timer app encourages reading every day while also making it fun! This free app allows users to time reading minutes with an interactive stopwatch and track minutes on a weekly log. Plus, parents can check children's reading activity in addition to browsing daily tips, articles and book lists.
Second, every Monday we can check in with Scholastic on Twitter for the #MondayMinutes (the total number of minutes kids have read to date) and every Friday we're keeping an eye on the Scholastic Facebook page for Friday Freebies and the Summer Reading Challenge Pinterest Board for a new collage of summer books.
Are you ready to read with us? My girls are thrilled to be adding up the minutes that they spend immersed in their books and can't wait to take things even further next month when we literally put the "Reading Under the Stars" theme into effect. Stay tuned!
In the meantime, head over to sign up for the Summer Reading Challenge and amp up the excitement about reading for your young reader even more with these great tips!
This post is part of a collaboration with Scholastic. All thoughts and opinions expressed are honest and my own.