World Record Challenge Motivates Kids to Read All Summer Long

By Allison Mittleman, Media Specialist Sunset Palms in Boynton Beach, Florida 

World Record Challenge Winners
Scholastic, together with Reading Is Fundamental (RIF) and the National Summer Learning Association, is once again challenging kids to Read for the World Record to keep students reading and learning all summer long.

Last year, more than 8,000 schools nationwide participated in the challenge, logging a total of 35,846,094 reading minutes! And students at Sunset Palms Elementary in Boynton Beach, Fla., logged a big chunk of those minutes – 683,057 reading minutes to be exact, more than any other school and earning them a place in the 2010 Scholastic Book of World Records.

"Read for the World Record encouraged our students to read as much as possible during the summer months by giving them a fun incentive to compete against other schools across the country," said Allison Mittleman, Media Specialist at Sunset Palms.

Our goal was to introduce more kids to the joy of reading and, of course, to make it into the Scholastic Book of World Records Top 20," she added.

Mittleman credits teamwork and lots of advertising for the school's world record accomplishment. "I told students about the program and our Instructional Technology Specialist helped them register," she said. "We broadcast daily updates during the morning announcements, displayed posters, sent notes home to parents, and posted an announcement on our school marquee."

Mittleman also tied the challenge to Scholastic's "What Would You Do for Reading ?" campaign and set a school wide reading goal of one million minutes for students. In return for meeting the goal, Sunset Palms Principal Karen Riddle and Assistant Principal Cory Zigler agreed to let students turn them into human sundaes.

"We didn't make our goal, but we did read the most minutes in the challenge, so our principal and assistant principal performed the stunt," said Mittleman. "It was a great motivator."

This year's challenge kicked off May 1. Schools can sign up at scholastic.com/bookfairs/record.
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