Summer break is in full swing and our days have been filled with swimming, crafting, hikes through the woods, watching movies, and reading. Lots of reading, in fact. Something that surprises me a little. My son has always been an avid reader, but neither of my nieces has ever really shared that love for reading. They have always thought of reading as a chore. Something has changed though and I am so glad for it. We have signed up for the Scholastic Summer Reading Challenge, after Mom and I were asked to participate in a sponsored campaign. I love how Scholastic is getting kids to read this summer.
One thing that has really helped get the girls excited about reading is the extra care we have taken to find books that really interest them. After registering for the Scholastic Summer Reading Challenge, we checked out all of the recommended books and authors on the Scholastic web site to find books that would interest the girls. Becca at age fifteen is drawn to books about the supernatural and teen romance, while her younger sister Maddie enjoys action, adventure and suspense.
I have to confess that before I realized how much my nieces would enjoy reading this summer, Grandma Laura and I stooped to bribery and offered to pay them for each book they finish reading. At the rate these girls are reading, we’re going to be flat broke by summer’s end. I guess there are worse reasons to go broke.
The challenge which runs through September 5, is geared toward kids ages 4 to 14 but it can work for kids of any reading level. Becca is slightly older but she is still reading a lot of the middle grade books, along with Maddie who just turned 13. The goal for this summer’s challenge is to beat last summer’s reading world record of 176,438,473 minutes. That’s a whole lot of reading!
It’s simple to sign up for the challenge and there is great incentive to do so. The girls had a lot of fun coming up with their screen names by choosing random words and numbers. After doing their reading each day, we go to the reading challenge site and log the minutes. Sometimes we forget, but that’s okay since you can go back two weeks to log your minutes. When kids meet their reading goals each week, they get to spin a virtual wheel and earn badges.
The Scholastic Reading Timer app encourages reading every day and most importantly, makes it fun! The 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.
In addition to logging reading minutes, there are a lot of fun and interactive things to do on the Scholastic Summer Reading Challenge web site. This year’s theme is Reading Under the Stars (powered by EVEREADY®). Throughout the summer, kids will read around the galaxy and unlock star constellations as they log reading minutes. We have learned a lot of cool space facts and as you log your minutes, you can click on constellations to learn how to spot them in the sky and get interesting facts, relayed by astronaut LeLand Melvin.
Reading Under the Stars is this year’s theme!
There are also games, videos and a message board. Maddie loves playing online games and has found several that she really enjoys like Middle School Survival M.A.S.H. which is a fun twist on the old Mad Libs game. You choose three different words in a variety of categories and end up with a pretty funny story about yourself. It’s silly but oh-so fun.
I sure with I had known about the Scholastic Summer Reading Challenge when my son was younger. Scholastic offers a lot of cool stuff for parents too (and Auntie’s like me). Over on the Facebook Calendar for Parents there are tips, printables and Friday Freebies. There are many book recommendations on the Parents Section of the Summer Reading Challenge, as well as suggestions for encouraging reading. I kind of wish I had read that before offering the girls cash for books, but I am just happy they are reading this summer.
Every Monday, you can check Scholastic on Twitter for the #MondayMinutes to see the total number of minutes kids have read to date! Every Friday, check out the Summer Reading Challenge Pinterest Board for a new collage of summer books. Also, be sure to tune in to Facebook on June 21 for the Summer Solstice Facebook Chat for Parents. It’s sure to be really great!
This post was sponsored by Scholastic, but all opinions are my own. My family is genuinely excited about the Scholastic Summer Reading Challenge.