NEW YORK, July 9, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- The Summer weather is heating up nationwide, and kids' summer reading is getting hot, hot, hot. Kids from around the world and all 50 states have been reading at a feverish pace and as a result have officially broken the world record for summer reading, logging more than 100 million reading minutes to date. The record set in summer 2012 was 95,859,491 minutes. All this reading has been done by participants in the seventh annual Scholastic Summer Challenge™, a free program designed to keep kids reading while preventing the "summer slide" - a loss of academic skills when students are not in school.
"We know how important it is for kids to keep their minds sharp so they're ready to go back to school in the fall," said Francie Alexander, Chief Academic Officer, Scholastic, the global children's publishing, education and media company. "We are amazed how quickly students were able to surpass last year's impressive record of 95 million minutes – and we know they aren't done yet. All the students participating are winners!"
Kids will continue to read to set the biggest world record as part of the Scholastic Summer Challenge until September 6. By logging their minutes, kids earn virtual rewards, enter to win prizes, and contribute toward their school's total number of minutes. At the end of the summer, the top 20 schools with the most reading minutes will be featured in the 2014 edition of the Scholastic Book of World Records, and the school that logs the most minutes will win a visit from Captain Underpants author, Dav Pilkey.
The Scholastic Summer Challenge also provides free resources that parents can use to support and motivate their kids' summer reading, including age-appropriate summer reading booklists with titles chosen to help students prepare to meet the Common Core State Standards. The Scholastic Parents Facebook page has launched a new content calendar that provides free daily expert tips and articles, activities, discounts on books, and special Friday giveaways. Parents can also help their kids log their reading minutes on-the-go with the Scholastic Reading Timer, a free mobile app that allows kids to keep track of the time they spend reading.
To further the message about the importance of summer reading in the U.S. and increase access to books within their communities, 42 Governors' Spouses and 2 Governors have joined the Scholastic Summer Challenge as 2013 Reading Ambassadors. On behalf of their participation, Scholastic donated a total of 22,000 books - 500 books to each Reading Ambassadors' school of choice so that students in their state could take home books for summer vacation.
SOURCE Scholastic Inc.