With the school year nearing a close, Scholastic is today opening the door to its annual Summer Reading Challenge, a free rewards-based program designed to overcome the summer reading slide.
Kids will be motivated to read throughout the out-of-school summer months by logging their reading minutes and earning rewards, with the goal of setting a new world record for summer reading. Last year’s participants set the world record of 176,438,473 minutes read.
Teachers, schools and families can register their children in grades K-8 starting today at scholastic.com/summer and children can log minutes from today through September 5.
Additional tools for parents include the Scholastic Reading Timer app, which can monitor kids progress, as well as Facebook-hosted live chats.
In terms of incentives, the top elementary school with the most minutes read will win a visit from bestselling author-illustrator David Shannon (Bugs in My Hair!) and the top middle school will win a visit from bestselling author Gordon Korman (The Hypnotists). The top 20 US schools with the most reading minutes recorded by September 5 will be featured in the 2015 Scholastic Book of World Records.
This year’s Summer Reading theme is Reading Under the Stars, powered by battery and flashlight maker EVEREADY, and, throughout the summer, the branded site will unlock interactive star constellations containing special video messages from NASA astronaut Leland Melvin. Children will also have the opportunity to take an extra Chapter Challenge and learn more about space from Pascal Lee, a planetary scientist from the SETI and Mars Institute and author of Mission: Mars.