All of Your Questions About the Scholastic Read-a-Palooza Summer Reading Challenge, Answered

New to this fun, educational program? Not to worry — here's your crash course!



scholastic summer reading challenge

For 13 exciting years, the Scholastic Read-a-Palooza Summer Reading Challenge has kept kids reading all summer long. If this is your child's first time taking part, here are the answers to your top questions about the Challenge.

1. First of all, what exactly is the Scholastic Read-a-Palooza Summer Reading Challenge

It's a free (and fun!) reading program that helps kids avoid the summer slide — the learning loss that can occur over summer break — by reading for enjoyment. Starting May 6, 2019, your kids can enter their reading minutes throughout the 18 weeks of summer to unlock exclusive digital rewards and help donate books to kids in need across the country. The minutes you spend reading out loud to them counts, too! Along the way, you and your kids will discover some pretty incredible age-appropriate reads from the Scholastic Summer Reading Challenge book lists. 

2. How exactly will this program help prevent the summer slide?

The Scholastic Kids & Family Reading Report, 7th Edition shows the majority of kids (77%) and parents (94%) believe that summer reading can help kids during the school year. However, 20% percent of kids report reading zero books during the summer, and many may need a little guidance finding great books to read for fun (rather than ones that make reading seem like a chore). Studies show that when kids don’t read over the summer, they lose core reading skills and fall behind when they return to school in the fall. Keeping kids reading over the summer helps them maintain and even enhance their skills in a variety of subjects.   

3. What makes this year different from previous challenges?

This year, participants will have the opportunity to help kids around the country — just by reading! As kids enter their minutes online, a minute counter will keep track of their collective progress. When the total number of minutes read reaches 25 million, 50 million, and then 100 million minutes, Scholastic 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. 

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.

4. How do I sign my child up?

To participate in the Scholastic Read-a-Palooza Summer Reading Challenge, your kids can register through their school, public library, or a community partner organization (such as a local youth center) — or they can sign up on their own to participate individually. 

5. What’s the benefit of having my child do the Challenge through school? 

This year, the Scholastic Read-a-Palooza Summer Reading Challenge will recognize one school in each state, territory (Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and the Northern Mariana Islands), and the District of Columbia, as well as the top 10 libraries and community partners with the most reading minutes. At the end of the summer, Scholastic will present each winning location with a "party-in-a-box" that will feature items for a school-wide Read-a-Palooza celebration: a personalized plaque, banner, and student certificates.

6. What if my kids' school or library aren't participating — can they still sign up for the Challenge? 

Yes! After you confirm that your school, local library, or a community partner organization aren't participating, you can sign up your child online independently at any time. While their logged minutes will not go towards a school, they will still support the Summer Reading Challenge's collective minute total and help provide book donations to kids in need across the country!

7. How old does my child have to be?

The core range for this Challenge is ages 4 to 14, but if you read aloud to your younger children, you can enter reading minutes on their behalf. We have reading recommendations for newborns and teenagers alike!

8. 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.

9. My child is still in school — does that mean we have to wait for summer vacation to start? 

No, kids can start entering reading minutes as soon as the Challenge opens on Monday, May 6, 2019 — all the way through September 6, 2019.

10. I need help finding books for my kids. Any suggestions? 

Yes! Consult our English and Spanish book lists for great reads by age that'll help your kids become happy, enthusiastic readers this summer. To view them, click here and scroll down to "Resources" or go to the Scholastic Store Online to browse great selections from the lists.  

Ready to have a summer filled with great reads? Head over to the Scholastic Read-a-Palooza Summer Reading Challenge page to get started!

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Reading for Pleasure