Scholastic’s Summer Reading Challenge Includes Free Online Program

scholastic, children's publishingScholastic has launched its Summer Reading Challenge for this year, which encourages kids to read in the summertime. Themed “Be a Reading Superhero,” the campaign includes a free online summer reading program that “has generated more than one billion reading minutes for kids around the world since 2009,” according to a press release.

Educators can begin pre-registering their students (grades K-8) for the program and track the kids’ reading progress. Educators and students also have free access to a reading pledge, letters to parents, and summer book lists for pre-K through Young Adult, including Spanish and bilingual titles.

“Summer is an opportunity to turn the summer slide into a summer leap, and help all students discover the joys of reading,” said Michael Haggen, chief academic officer of Scholastic Education. “The Scholastic Summer Reading Challenge takes a blended approach to helping schools and families support and encourage children to read over the summer by combining books with online experiences.”

For this year’s campaign, Captain Underpants author, Dav Pilkey, has pledged to increase kids’ access to books before summer break. Through the Dav Pilkey ‘Be a Reading Superhero’ Educator Contest, teachers can win free summer books for every child in their school. Winners will be chosen from one school in each U.S. state and the District of Columbia.

“When it comes to kids and reading, there’s no such thing as a guilty pleasure,” said Pilkey. “Even though I struggled with reading growing up because of my dyslexia, I was fortunate to have parents who encouraged me to choose the books I wanted to read: silly books with tons of illustrations that made me laugh out loud. And if it weren’t for these books that motivated me to keep turning the page, I wouldn’t be the writer I am today. Summer is a great time to discover the fun and joy of reading and I am honored to be the global ambassador of the Scholastic Summer Reading Challenge campaign.”

Another program in the campaign is the Scholastic Summer Reading Road Trip, in which RVs will visit bookstores, schools and libraries across the country and set up pop-up community events.

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