One of the chief concerns US educators have about the summer holidays is the potential for a reversal of the gains students made throughout the school year. When the study habits and learning choices students make during the school year aren’t emphasized during those months of “down time,” the end result is that schools often have to spend the first month of the new school year reviewing material that was taught the year before in an attempt to even bring students back up to the ability level they once presented.
This phenomenon, sometimes referred to as the “summer slide,” can be addressed by a number of initiatives at the local and virtual levels. Scholastic, the world’s largest publisher of children’s books, has been working on increasing student reading interest over the summer months with its reading challenges, aimed at encouraging students to meet or exceed goals outlined for them.
Now in its seventh year, Scholastic’s Summer Challenge focuses this year on the theme of breaking the world’s record for most minutes read by Scholastic participants. Students who log their minutes between May 6th and September 6th will earn free rewards and incentives, including invitations for their parents to download ebooks through Scholastic’s digital reading platform, Storia; this year’s challenge is also set up to incorporate the Scholastic Reading Meter, which takes students on a virtual field trip around the world for each goal level they reach. The goal to beat is last year’s best, which reached almost 96 million minutes from all participants combined.
“With the high expectations of the Common Core State Standards and other rigorous state standards, it is more important than ever for kids to keep reading throughout the summer so they go back to school reading and ready,” said Francie Alexander, Chief Academic Officer at Scholastic, in a press release. “The key to making summer reading successful for kids is to make it feel more like ‘homefun’ rather than ‘homework,’ and to give kids the power to choose the books they want to read.”
As an added incentive, the school who has the most students log the most minutes will win a visit from Dav Pilkey, author of the Captain Underpants series. To sign up for the challenge, click HERE.