NEW YORK, July 28, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Children worldwide are making this the biggest summer ever for reading and have set a new world record by logging 200 MILLION MINUTES in the Scholastic Summer Reading Challenge! With six more weeks to go, these kids have already far exceeded the 2013 world record of 176,438,473 minutes read. Now in its 8 th year, the Scholastic Summer Reading Challenge is a free, global summer reading program designed to keep kids reading throughout the out-of-school months by logging their reading minutes online and via mobile app to earn digital rewards. The program, powered by EVEREADY®, the maker of batteries and flashlights, aims to prevent the effects of the " summer slide" – the learning losses that can occur during the summer months. Families can still register their children in grades K–8 and access free summer reading tools at scholastic.com/summer through September 5 th.
Once the program concludes, the 20 U.S. schools with the most reading minutes recorded will be announced and featured in the 2015 Scholastic Book of World Records. Bestselling author Gordon Korman ( The Hypnotists) and bestselling author-illustrator David Shannon (Bugs in My Hair!) will visit the U.S. middle school and U.S. elementary school, respectively, with the most reading minutes logged.
"Children, families, and teachers have enthusiastically embraced the importance of summer reading this year, as shown by the fact that kids surpassed last year's world record halfway through the summer!" said Francie Alexander, Chief Academic Officer. "We're excited to share the news and hope that, with six more weeks to go in the Scholastic Summer Reading Challenge, even more kids will sign up, choose the books that they want to read, log their minutes, and enjoy a summer spent with books. They'll have the added advantage of heading back to school with even stronger reading skills."
Scholastic Summer Reading Challenge highlights:
- Free summer reading resources are available for teachers, parents and children, including summer booklists, expert tips, activity sheets, and more.
- 4 U.S. Governors and 42 Gubernatorial Spouses pledged to help spread the important message about children reading over the summer by signing on as Reading Ambassadors. Scholastic will donate 500 books to the school of e ach Reading Ambassador's choice, and many of the Ambassadors are hosting reading events in their respective states.
- Summer reading apps include the Scholastic Reading Timer, an app to enter reading minutes on-the-go, and the Scholastic Parents Facebook calendar app, which features daily links ranging from expert tips to articles to family-friendly activities. The Facebook calendar app also offers Friday Freebies every week throughout the summer, which offers parents a chance to win fun prizes like a "Reading Under the Stars" kit or brand new books for their children.