Between impromptu homeschooling and being cooped up with their families amid a pandemic, it's no secret that kids have been looking forward to summer. And while we're certainly encouraging our little ones to safely spend time outside, keeping their minds sharp during the warmer months is a top priority. Thankfully, a summer reading program like Scholastic's Summer Read-a-Palooza can motivate children to get lost in books even when school isn't in session. And the best part? The annual program is totally free.
"As we enter the summer months there is no doubt we are all continuing to adjust to this new reality together," says the Scholastic website. "Now more than ever it is critically important to keep kids engaged in summer reading to ensure their academic success in the fall."
Read-a-Palooza 2020 officially takes place between May 4 and September 4, but it isn't too late to start now! Along with keeping kids learning all summer long, participating in the program will help Scholastic and The United Way donate 100,000 books to kids in areas with limited or no access to books. Learn more about the program ahead.
How to Participate Scholastic's Summer Read-a-Palooza
Scholastic's Summer Read-a-Palooza encourages kids to truly make reading a daily habit. In general, the program is pretty unstructured; there are no specific prompts that kids have to follow or stringent book requirements, and children are encouraged to choose their own books and read at their own pace. To participate, families should download Scholastic's new free app, Home Base. After making an account, kids are instructed to log their reading "streaks" — or how many days they've read in a row — to unlock prizes.
"This year, kids can build their avatar, make new friends, earn virtual rewards, and help unlock donations for kids with limited or no access to books by starting and keeping 'reading streaks' in Scholastic Home Base when they read every day over the summer!" says the program's website. Additionally, children can play games, interact with characters, listen to stories, and even visit "islands" where they'll be encouraged to make new virtual friends.