On Monday night, wekickedoff the SummerChallengewith a Facebook chat on the Scholastic Parents Facebook page. In short, it was a hit. Thousands of parents tuned in to hear parent bloggers Amy Mascott and Allison McDonald share theirstrategies for keeping kids reading from the time schools out for the summer to when the back-to-school bell rings. Heres a recap if you missed it! 9:00PM, EST:Amy and Allie jump right in with a call for questions. Parents flooded the wall with inquiries about reading programs, books recommendations, and how to make time for reading when kids schedules are packed in the summer with so many other activities. Many parents also asked about reading aloud vs. reading independently. From one parent: I have a third grader (going into fourth grade). Is it better if I read to him, have him read out loud to me, or read on his own? He is reading on his own, but still likes me to read to him. Allie and Amys reply: All of the above! Having him read on his own and read aloud to you will boost his confidence. And you reading to him will create a special time for you two together. Its a win-win! When asked about how to get younger kids interested in reading, Amy and Allie said, Give your child as much book choice as you feel comfortable with and make reading fun. Play rhyming games, focus on recognizing familiar names, and environmental print (menus, signs etc.. ). Above it all keep it fun! 9:15PM, EST: Amy and Allie share a fun fact about reading and a question regarding motivation. Fun Fact: Did you know that 99 % of parents think their children should read over the summer? Thats AWESOME right? So I wonder. . . do those 99% of parents actually encourage their children to read? How do you encourage your children to read over the summer? And the comments rolled in! Parents are all about encouraging their kids to read in the summer. In fact, they shared some genius ideas for how to do just that: My son loves to read! We go to Goodwill together, where all childrens books are $1. He picks the books he enjoys and the reading begins. During the summer we run to the library, join their summer reading program, and then read together every night. We have a Road to Reading poster (it has a winding road on it with blocks to fill in with each book read). At the end of the summer, if he has read all of the books he is supposed to and filled in the blocks, he gets a prize. Usually I pick three books (one she can read to me, one I can read to her, and a picture book) around one theme, then find something special to do on the same subject (go to bakery, visitzoo, paint a picture, plant a tree, etc.). I made a shelf on the bookcase where every book is at my 1st graders reading level. I showed her last night her shelf and she is excited to pick a few books each day to read. When she reads them all we will make a new shelf for her. We keep books in the car, and pack favorites with us when we travel. We read about our destination from travel guides. Both of my kids love to read right when they get up in the morning. We snuggle on the couch and read a couple of stories. 9:30PM, EST: Amy and Allie talk about theScholastic Summer Challenge! Lots of participating parents said they either loved the free online reading program and are returning this year, or, they had just signed up to try it for the first time! Amy and Allie mentioned the great resources for parents, from book lists to reading pledges and logs, to the Facebook summer reading content calendar. Check them out! 9:40 PM, EST: Amy and Allie share a tip: Consider bringing books to life by pairing them with a movie, day trip, or follow-up craft! 9:45 PM, EST: Amy and Allie share a tip:Challenge your child to master a series this summer! Have him or her read a WHOLE series from start to finish, and celebrate its completion! Parents chimed in with their own series recommendations:Magic Tree House, Junie B. Jones, Little House,Dinosaur Cove series, I Survived, and Ghost Buddy. 10:00PM, EST: Amy and Allie sign off for the night.What an incredible event! Phew! Our heads are still spinning from all the amazing book recommendations, ideas for keeping kids motivated, and how to sneak in reading between summertime activities. Thanks for joining, everyone. And remember, sign up for the Scholastic Summer Challenge to keep the reading momentum going.