It is pivotal to be supportive of families and communities while school is out this summer, giving them the knowledge and resources they need to come together to support students’ learning. Encouraging kids to read and ensuring they have access to high-quality books and reading materials is a mission that everyone can get behind and is worth the effort.
Research shows that kids who do not read during the summer months are more likely to feel the effects of the “summer slide”—the cumulative loss of academic skills that frequently takes place during the summer months. This is so regularly discussed in schools that it may be forgotten that it isn’t common knowledge for all. However, the Scholastic Kids & Family Reading Report™: 7th Edition revealed that nearly half of parents of school-aged children do not know about the summer slide. When they do, it is largely learned from their child’s educators, so this is a clear call to action for teachers and schools to support parents this summer!
The same report showed that when parents are aware of the summer slide, they and their kids are more engaged with summer reading, which is vital as there is a rising trend of kids ages 6–17 reading zero books over the summer: 15% in 2016 vs. 20% in 2018. Among 9–11-year-olds, this percentage has doubled (7% to 14%), and among teens ages 15–17 it has increased by ten points (22% to 32%).
To help turn this trend around and support more students through motivation and book access, Scholastic has launched Summer Read-a-Palooza, a movement to get free books into the hands of kids during the summer, keeping every child reading.
The Scholastic Summer Read-a-Palooza has three parts:
- THE GIVE BACK: The Scholastic Read-a-Palooza Summer Reading Give Back empowers kids to unlock book access for other kids. Every minute read during the summer counts on the Summer Reading Challenge website, as kids work together to reach Give Back minute milestones. Through the power of kids helping kids, Scholastic will collaborate with United Way to donate at least 200,000 free books to kids in need across the country. More, Scholastic Read-a-Palooza Summer Reading Celebrations will bring the experience to participating local bookstores and libraries, inviting families to drop off books to be donated to a community organization chosen by the retailer.
- THE READING CHALLENGE: Now through September 6, kids can enter their reading minutes in the Scholastic Read-a-Palooza Summer Reading Challenge to earn digital rewards and gain access to reading activities, book excerpts, videos, and more. Participating kids have officially unlocked our first of three corporate book donations of the summer and we need everyone’s help to get to our big goal of 100 million minutes! Educators, local public librarians, community partner organizations and kids, with the help of their parents, can all create Challenge accounts. At the end of the summer, we'll also acknowledge the Best in State schools, along with the Top 10 Libraries and Top 10 Community Partners.
- THE CELEBRATIONS: Families can attend Scholastic Read-a-Palooza Summer Reading Celebrations in their local communities, where book drive boxes will be available for donations of lightly used or newly purchased books. The participating location will then donate the books the organization of their choice. Check www.scholastic.com/readapalooza for an event list to find Summer Reading Celebrations in your area.
It’s not too late to get the word out to more parents about the summer slide and encourage participation in the Scholastic Summer Read-a-Palooza, tapping into the power of kids helping other kids. Sign up today!