When the last bell of the school year rings, my kids run in the front door, throw their school bags in the closet, dump their school shoes in the garbage and turn their brains to “off.” I may be more than 20 years removed from my school days, but I remember the feeling well. I think the decompressing phase of Summer is essential so I let the kids completely relax for one entire week.
But 9 times out of 10, I hear the words “I’m bored” before time runs out.
Fortunately, I have two girls who love to read. So after the week of relaxation, they will usually suggest that we head to our local library and pick out some summer reading books. Shhh….don’t tell them that they are actually learning and investing in their own futures. Did you know that 3rd graders who don’t read on grade level are 4 times less likely to graduate by age 18 than proficient readers? To avoid the “summer slide” and lapse in reading skills, my girls will be participating in the Scholastic Summer Reading Challenge powered by EVEREADY®.
From now through September 5th, my girls can log their reading minutes (online or via smartphone) as they help Read for the World Record, enter sweepstakes to win fabulous prizes, and earn digital rewards when they complete weekly reading challenges. Through this program, 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 in 2013 and this year kids are being challenged to break the record.
My daughter and I set up her account and she has already begun entering her minutes to contribute to the new record. She loves that she can track her progress and earn badges for success. In this digital world, anything “tech” inspires my daughter, too. So, I downloaded the free Scholastic Reading Timer App which encourages reading every day allowing 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. We also connected her account to her school so she will also be contributing towards minutes earned by her school. The elementary school with the most minutes read will win a school visit from bestselling author/illustrator David Shannon!
This year’s Summer Reading Challenge theme is “Reading Under the Stars.” Next month, we will be hosting a party with some family and friends to read together while enjoying the outdoors. Tune in and blast off with us!
Need more resources? Follow the Summer Reading Challenge Pinterest Board and check out #MondayMinutes on Twitter to see the progress towards breaking the record!