NEW YORK, April 25, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- iVillage, Scholastic and PBS KIDS announced today the launch of an alliance between one of the largest online communities for moms and two leaders in children's educational media. With the goal of sustaining children's reading during the summer months, the three brands are running two summer reading challenges designed to be entertaining and easy enough to fit into every family's busy summer schedule. Both challenges, the Scholastic Summer Challenge and the iVillage PBS KIDS Summer Reading Community Challenge, will be available through www.SummerReadingCentral.com.
Kicking off on April 27that scholastic.com/summer, the Scholastic Summer Challenge is a free reading program dedicated to stopping the 'Summer Slide,' a term which describes the loss of academic skills that many children experience during summer vacation. Now in its fifth year, the Summer Challenge motivates kids to read more over the summer and to log the minutes they spend reading as they Read for the World Record. The 20 schools with the most minutes logged will receive recognition in the 2012 Scholastic Book of World Records. Kids can participate in weekly challenges, earn digital rewards, enter sweepstakes to win fun prizes, and more.
"Research shows that kids who do not read during the summer months are likely to suffer learning losses when they return to school in the fall. However, the solution to the 'Summer Slide' is simple – by letting kids choose the books they want to read and providing them with books to take home over the summer, the majority of kids not only maintain their skills, but make reading gains," said Patrick Daley, Senior Vice President, Scholastic Classroom and Community Group.
For the second year in a row, WORDGIRL, the lead character in the PBS KIDS GO! series, is serving as the national "Ambassador of Summer Reading." Scholastic kicks off the Summer Challenge with the second annual WordGirl Definition Competition, a live webcast that engages students with vocabulary words through an interactive game show format on April 27th, 1 p.m. ET/ 10 a.m. PT. Educators and parents can register now at scholastic.com/wordgirldefinitioncompetition.
The iVillage PBS KIDS Summer Reading Community Challenge runs from June 6 to July 15 and features free literacy-building resources for parents and children designed by the experts at PBS Parents and PBS KIDS. As Challenge Coach, Angela Santomero, Creator, Executive Producer and Head Writer of SUPER WHY!, will provide daily reading activity assignments, answer parent questions and offer advice throughout the online event. Guest coaches such as cast members, characters, authors and series creators from PBS KIDS will also provide activities and ideas each week. Sign-ups begin now at ivillage.com/pbs.
"As a leader in the women's digital space, iVillage has been incredibly successful with many of our reading initiatives focused on parents reading to kids," said Catherine Balsam-Schwaber, Senior Vice President, Marketing, for iVillage. "By tapping into the enormous community of moms within iVillage, we have the potential to make a significant impact on children's literacy. Together with our partners, we'll have an even greater opportunity to move the needle when it comes to getting families more involved with summer reading."
To support reading at the local level, iVillage and PBS KIDS will sponsor reading parties hosted by iVillage members and bloggers. Participants will also have a daily chance to win a $100 gift card, for building home libraries. iVillage will also renew its "Read-Along" series, featuring videos of notable authors and celebrities reading children's books on tape.
iVillage is the largest content-driven community for women online reaching 30 + million unique visitors per month (comScore January 2011). With over four million plus conversations annually and thousands of specific brands talked about weekly, iVillage is at the center of her digital routine. Every day, women come to iVillage to connect, share advice, find life tools and engage in conversations that matter most to them in the areas of Pregnancy & Parenting, Health, Food, Entertainment and Beauty & Style. Additional businesses and brand extensions within iVillage include iVillage UK, Digital Works @ NBCU, Astrology.com and GardenWeb. iVillage Inc., is based in New York City, and is part of the NBCUniversal Entertainment & Digital Networks and Integrated Media Group. Join iVillage's Facebook group at www.facebook.com/ivillage and follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/ivillage.
Scholastic Corporation (NASDAQ: SCHL) is the world's largest publisher and distributor of children's books and a leader in educational technology and children's media. Scholastic creates quality educational and entertaining materials and products for use in school and at home, including children's books, magazines, technology-based products, teacher materials, television programming, film, videos and toys. Scholastic distributes its products and services through a variety of channels, including proprietary school-based book clubs and school-based book fairs, retail stores, schools, libraries, television networks and www.scholastic.com.
About PBS KIDS
PBS KIDS, the number one educational media brand for children, offers all children the opportunity to explore new ideas and new worlds through television, online and community-based programs. Each quarter, more than 27 million children watch PBS KIDS on TV, and PBSKIDS.org, the number one kids' entertainment site for free video streaming, attracts more than 9.5 million unique visitors per month (Nielsen, NTI Q42010; comScore Video Metrix; Google Analytics). For more information on specific PBS KIDS programs supporting literacy, science, math and more, visit PBS.org/pressroom, or follow PBS KIDS on Twitter and Facebook.