Scholastic, United Way, and Young Readers Will Help Get Books to Kids in Need This Summer

May 31st, 2019

Scholastic, United Way, and Young Readers Will Help GetBooks 
to Kids in Need This Summer

NEW YORK, May 7, 2019 (PRNewswire) -- Scholastic,the global children's publishing, education, and media company, today announcedthe launch of Scholastic Summer Read-a-Palooza, a nation-widemovement to unite kids, parents, educators, public librarians, community partners,and booksellers in efforts to get books into the hands of more kids during thesummer, keeping every child reading. The Scholastic Summer Read-a-Palooza is are-energized approach to the Company's longstanding commitment to prevent theeffects of the "summer slide"— the learning loss children frequentlyexperience while school is out and that research suggests can accumulate to atwo-year reading achievement gap by middle school. For the first time, kids areempowered to help other kids through summer reading, unlocking 200,000 booksdonated by Scholastic. Through a national collaboration with United WayWorldwide, the world's largest privately funded non-profit, the donated bookswill be distributed across the country to select locations where access to morehigh-quality books is needed most. Local retailers and libraries are alsocommitting to additional book drives to support summer reading and book accessin their local communities.

According to findings from the Scholastic Kids &Family Reading Report™: 7th Edition, there is a rising trend of kidsages 6–17 reading zero books over the summer: 15% in 2016 vs. 20% in 2018.Among 9–11- year-olds, this percentage has doubled (7% to 14%), and among teensages 15–17 it has increased by ten points (22% to 32%). To help turn this trendaround, the report reveals that if parents are aware of the summer slide, theirchildren are less likely to read zero books (16% vs.25%). Yet, 47% of parentswith school-age children are not aware of the summer slide and this percentageincreases sharply to 63% among families with household incomesunder $35,000.

"It is an undeniable equity issue that many kids don'thave access to books when school is not in session and too many kids aremissing out on rich summer reading experiences. This must be addressed toensure no matter where a child lives, they have the books and reading timeneeded to ensure they return to school reading-ready and ongrade-level," said Richard Robinson, Chairman, Presidentand CEO of Scholastic. "Through Scholastic Summer Read-a-Palooza andworking with United Way, booksellers, and libraries nationwide, we will expandaccess to books across the country while supporting parents and educators intheir effort to keep kids reading this summer."

"United Way believes that children deserve a strongstart in life and we help to make that possible by empowering parents,improving the quality of early learning environments, and offering solutions,like our work with Scholastic, to challenges outside the classroom,"said Mary Sellers, U.S. President, United Way Worldwide. "UnitedWay is honored to be a part of the Scholastic Summer Read-a-Palooza, and itsworthwhile mission: to put more books in the hands of more children everywhere,especially those who need them most."

The 2019 Scholastic Summer Read-a-Palooza consists of threekey components:

  • The Scholastic Read-a-Palooza Summer Reading Give Back empowerskids to unlock book donations for other kids in two ways. Every minute readover the summer counts on the Summer Reading Challenge website, as kids worktogether to reach Give Back minute milestones. Upon reaching 25, 50, and 100million minutes, Scholastic will donate 200,000 books to kids through UnitedWay! In addition, Scholastic Read-a-Palooza Summer Reading Celebrations willbring the experience to participating local bookstores and libraries, welcomingkids and families to drop off books to be donated to an organization in theirown community, chosen by the retailer.

  • The Scholastic Read-a-Palooza Summer Reading Challenge isback for its 13th year with a continued focus on keeping kids reading.Through September 6, kids can enter their summer reading minutes onlineand unlock digital rewards by completing weekly reading activities, gain accessto book excerpts, videos, and content from beloved titles, and more! Minuteswill also unlock the Scholastic Read-a-Palooza Summer Reading Give Back bookdonations. In September, the school in each U.S. state, territory,and District of Columbia that has entered the most reading minuteswill be named "Best in State," featured in the 2019 ScholasticBook of World Records, and will receive a commemorative plaque as well as anofficial Scholastic party kit to celebrate their achievement. Specialrecognition will also be given to the top ten public libraries and communityliteracy partner organizations overall nationwide with the most minutes read.

  • Scholastic Read-a-Palooza Summer Reading Celebrations willtake place at participating stores and libraries nationwide to bringcommunities together in the spirit of giving back. Booksellers and retailerswill have the opportunity to host reading events in their communities, anchoredaround Scholastic Read-a-Palooza Summer Reading Give Back boxes whilecelebrating students' summer reading milestones and encouraging them to keepreading. Families who attend will be dazzled by a fun and engaging event thatbrings literacy to life. Readers can engage in activities, photo opportunities,and giveaways based on their favorite characters and series. Select events willeven have appearances by both Scholastic favorites Clifford the Big RedDog® and Dav Pilkey's Dog Man.

To learn more about Scholastic (NASDAQ: SCHL), theglobal children's publishing, education and media company, visit the Company'smedia room: http://mediaroom.scholastic.com.

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