Books

Scholastic Summer Reading Challenge #SummerReading

Disclosure: I was compensated for this post. All opinions expressed are 100% my own.

My mom likes to tell people how I taught myself to read when I was three years old. She says that I was very insistent upon her reading to me ALL THE TIME. One time she tried to skip ahead in the book to get me to bed faster, but I immediately pointed out her mistake! I made her go back and read the pages she skipped over. My love of reading has continued on throughout my 36 years. I read every day and take great pleasure in relaxing with a good book. It’s one of my favourite ways to spend my time.

The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree as the saying goes because both my daughters are voracious readers like me. Olivia is 16 next month and enjoys reading YA books. She is a fast reader like me and can finish off a book in a day or two. Bridget is 9 and is currently reading children’s novels.

Scholastic Summer Reading Challenge #SummerReading

This summer, we are participating in Scholastic Summer Reading Challenge, a free, global online reading program where kids can log their reading minutes to earn rewards and help to set a new world record for summer reading! The challenge started on May 5th and runs until September 5, 2014. Bridget was excited to sign up and contribute to making a new world record!

Scholastic Summer Reading Challenge

The program is now in its 8th year and is great to keep kids’ minds active and stop the “Summer Slide” that often happens when school is out for a couple months. Reading year round also helps to kids become more proficient readers and better prepare them for the academic year ahead. In my opinion, it also helps to instill a love of reading. I can recall spending hours relaxing at my family’s cottage as a young girl with a pile of books to read.

Did you know that in 2013 Scholastic inspired more than 130,000 kids from 4,200 schools in the USA and 31 countries to set a new record for summer reading of 176 million+ minutes? Pretty incredible right? Let’s see if we can beat the world record in 2014! It’s a global challenge so it doesn’t matter where you live. Any child can participate!

This year’s theme is “Reading Under the Stars” and is powered by EVEREADY®. Kids will read under the galaxy and unlock star constellations as they log in their reading minutes. Stay tuned for a post with our “Reading Under the Stars” party coming up next month!

summerreading

The Scholastic Summer Reading Challenge website has three main categories: Kids, Educators and Parents.

For Kids

Bridget registered for a free account and visits the Kids’ portal to log her reading minutes, participate in weekly challenges and enter to win sweepstakes for free books. On her profile page, she can see her total minutes logged already as well as how many more minutes she needs to read in order to meet the weekly challenge. She was excited to earn her first badge and says she wants to earn more badges. I think these small incentives make her want to challenge herself to keep going with it. She can also earn virtual prizes with reading quizzes, text and word challenges and more.

Scholastic Summer Reading Challenge #SummerReading

She reads at least once a day and has me write down the times on a piece of paper to keep track. Then when she goes online and logs into her account, she can log her minutes into her account. As she adds more minutes to her account, she lights up constellation and unlocks fun facts.  She is also able to see her progress and how much more time she needs to spending reading in order to meet the weekly challenge goal. If you are in the USA, you can track your children’s progress on the free Scholastic Reading Timer app.

Bridget can also explore book lists curated by Scholastic experts that feature more than 700+ books for kids in Pre-K to grade 8. They also have a Reading Under the Stars themed list featuring books about space, stars, astronomy and even spooky stories that can be read around a campfire. We were both introduced to many new books and authors and Bridget has begun adding books to her TBR (To Be Read) list. Studies show that 92% of kids say that they are more likely to finish reading a book that they pick out themselves. As a mom, I like to give her suggestions, but the ultimate decision of what she wants to read rests with her.

Bridget can take a break from reading and play book-themed games and watch videos featuring book trailers, author interviews and more. I printed off her screen name and password so she can log in from our desktop computer any time she wants to play, look up books or log her minutes. She likes being able to do all this herself and I think it helps to motivate her to keep working towards the challenge goal.

For Parents

As a mom, I want to support my daughter in her endeavours and Scholastic makes it easy for parents to do just that! I registered under the Parent’s portal for a free account and can access free summer reading tools to support my daughter. There’s a plethora of information available with a click of a mouse! I can track Bridget’s reading progress, check out book lists, advice from the experts, free printables, and lots more.

Make sure to like Scholastic Parents Facebook page too. Each Friday, you can enter to win their Friday Freebies prizes that include books for your kids! On the summer calendar app you can check out the helpful articles, expert tips, social media chats, giveaways and activities listed each day.

You can also sign up to receive a free Scholastic book by mail when you buy two specially marked packs of EVEREADY Gold batteries or EVEREADY flashlights and redeem the package codes online. Visit EVEREADY about this special offer.

I love this infographic featuring all the different ways to get kids excited about reading this summer.

Summer Reading Tips

For Educators

Educators can also enroll for free and sign up students and track their progress. They will also be able to access all the wonderful resources Scholastic offers including the free book lists.

Here’s more info on what is available for educators:

Two grand prizes. The elementary school with the most minutes read will win a school visit from bestselling author/illustrator David Shannon; the middle school with the most minutes read will receive a school visit from bestselling  author Gordon Korman.

A website badge & reading plaque. In addition to being featured in the 2015 Scholastic Book of World Records, the Top 20 schools (along with the top school in every state) will also receive a badge for their website and a “Reading Plaque” to display at school.

Easy to use & administer. Teachers can bulk register their students to participate, and improved teacher dashboard functionality will make it easier for teachers to register their class, import and export student lists, and email parents to maintain school-to-home connection throughout the summer.

Teacher sweepstakes and bonus points. Teachers who register by June 30 can enter to win a classroom library, and the first 500 teachers to enter will receive 250 bonus points for Scholastic Reading Club.

Summer Reading Timer App

Download the Scholastic Summer Reading Timer app to time reading minutes with an interactive stopwatch and track minutes on a weekly log. You can also monitor your child’s reading activity and check out daily tips, articles and book lists.

Join the Summer Reading Challenge

I hope you’ll join Bridget (and myself) this summer for the reading challenge! It’s completely free to sign up and also helps to stop that dreaded Summer Slide by keeping kids actively engaged in reading all summer long. Plus, it’s fun for kids too. Visit Scholastic to learn more and register your kids and let’s work together at breaking this world record!

Stay Connected

Stay connected via social media! Here’s the ways you can follow along:

Stacie Vaughan

Stacie is the mom of two girls and lives in Ontario, Canada. She enjoys cooking/baking, photography, reading, DIY and is fueled by lots of coffee!

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