Summer Reading Challenge 101 for Parents

New to the Summer Reading Challenge? Don't worry, we're giving you a crash course!



Summer Reading Challenge 101 for Parents

For more than a decade, the Scholastic Summer Reading Challenge has helped keep kids reading all summer long. If this is your child's first year participating, here are 10 things you need to know: 

  1. The Scholastic Summer Reading Challenge…what is it? Now in its 12th year, the Scholastic Summer Reading Challenge is a free online and mobile reading program aimed to keep kids reading all summer long. Starting May 7, 2018, kids can read books and log their reading minutes throughout the 18 weeks of summer to earn digital rewards and learn about great new books to read. In celebration of the 20th anniversary of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone in the United States, this year’s theme is “A Magical Summer of Reading,” which comes to life on the website with the beautiful Harry Potter illustrations by Jim Kay.
  2. Why should we join? The latest research from the Kids & Family Reading Report™: 6th Edition shows 80 percent of kids ages 6-17 and 96% of their parents agree “reading books during the summer helps kids during the school year!” However, many kids need help finding books to read for fun. Studies show that when kids don’t read over the summer, they lose core reading skills and fall behind when they go back to school. Keeping kids reading over the summer helps them maintain or increase their reading and learning skills.   
  3. What makes this year so different? We’ve got a brand-new, mobile-responsive website this year so your child can track summer reading minutes on the go! There’s also tons more content all across the site, including videos, activities, book lists, and more. And don’t forget, the Scholastic Summer Reading Road Trip will hit the road again this summer, featuring a traveling pop-up book festival in your local town. Full details are available here
  4. How do I sign my child up? To participate in the Scholastic Summer Reading Challenge, all children must be registered by an educator, public librarian, or community partner organization leader. Once registered, children can begin logging their reading minutes, earn digital rewards, and access free resources.
  5. How old does my child have to be? 4-14 is the core age, but if you read aloud to your younger children, you can log reading minutes on their behalf.
  6. Is the website safe for kids? YES! Scholastic adheres to COPPA (Children's Online Privacy Protection Act) laws. Our website is completely safe for kids.
  7. My school is not participating. Can my child still sign up for the Challenge? Unfortunately, independent kids' sign-up via parental approval is not available this year. However, you can encourage your child’s public librarian or community partner organization leader to sign up for the Summer Reading Challenge! It’s the exact same process for them as it is for educators. Plus, the Summer Reading Challenge homepage will still offer plenty of resources all kids can use, even if they aren’t part of a group registered for the Challenge, including a paper log where they can manually log their minutes over the course of the summer. Additionally, the website will have a separate Parents hub with free resources for families.
  8. What’s the benefit of having my child’s minutes count for the school? This year, the Summer Reading Challenge will recognize one school in each state as well as the Top 10 Libraries and Top 10 Community Partners with the most reading minutes. At the end of the summer, Scholastic will present each winning location with a "Celebration in a Box" that will come complete with items to host a school-wide reading celebration: a plaque, a banner, streamers, balloons, and certificates for the children.
  9. My child is still in school – does that mean we have to wait for summer vacation to start? No! Kids can start logging minutes as soon as the Challenge opens on May 7 through September 7, 2018.
  10. I need help finding books for my kids. Any suggestions? Yes, we have a free booklist in English and Spanish of top titles that will help even the most reluctant reader find the book perfect over the summer at

Hope this helps! Go to to get started. Follow us on Facebook for more tips on summer reading. And happy reading! 

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