When you live a short drive from a library or bookstore, it can be easy to take all of that great reading material for granted. However, many kids in certain parts of the country don’t have access to age-appropriate reading material — including books, newspapers, and magazines.
In these areas, people often need to drive many miles to the nearest bookstore. You may be surprised to find out that some of these neighborhoods are in busy urban centers, like Detroit, Los Angeles, and Washington, D.C. The scarcity of bookstores is often compounded by a lack of high-speed Internet in many of the homes in these neighborhoods, making it especially difficult for parents to get reading material for their children. But here’s some good news: Your child can help donate books to these kids, just by reading!
Kids are doing this by signing up for the Scholastic Read-a-Palooza Summer Reading Challenge, a free educational program to help them find joy in reading, plus retain the great literacy skills they learned during the school year. As kids enter their reading minutes on the Summer Reading Challenge website, the website’s minute counter keeps track of the collective progress of all Challenge participants. As the total number of minutes read reaches 25 million, 50 million, and 100 million minutes, Scholastic in collaboration with United Way will donate books to kids in need across the country, and has pledged to give away at least 200,000 books by the end of summer. (On May 29th, kids collectively reached 25 million reading minutes, unlocking the first book donation!)
By participating in the Challenge, your child will learn how good it feels to help others, plus they’ll dive into thrilling books that foster their own love of reading. The Challenge reading lists were curated by a team of book experts at Scholastic, and you can check out some that were hand-selected by age here:
- The Ultimate Summer Reading List for Ages 3 to 5
- The Ultimate Summer Reading List for Ages 6 to 7
- The Ultimate Summer Reading List for Ages 8 to 10
- The Ultimate Summer Reading List for Middle Schoolers
- The Ultimate Summer Reading List for Young Adults
Have extra books you want to donate? Scholastic is partnering with bookstores and libraries in communities nationwide to celebrate summer reading and expand book access. Look for Scholastic Read-a-Palooza Summer Reading Give Back book drive boxes at participating local libraries or retailers this summer — the books will be given to a local organization chosen by the retailer or library.
Ask your child’s pre-K or kindergarten teacher if they are participating; your local library may also be taking part. If not, you can register your child individually. Head over to the Scholastic Read-a-Palooza Summer Reading Challenge to get started!