Summer initiative asks kids to read

Scholastic, PBS Kids, and iVillage have joined up to combat the "summer slide" by letting kids choose books they'd like to read during the summer.

Companies
Scholastic; PBS Kids; iVillage

Campaign
Summer Reading Central

PR Agency
In-house

Launch
June

Objective: Scholastic, PBS Kids, and iVillage have joined up to combat the “summer slide” by letting kids choose books they'd like to read during the summer and then providing them to the children. The goal is not only to sustain literacy levels, but to improve them for the next school year.

Idea: To consolidate Scholastic's “Summer Challenge” and iVillage and PBS Kids' “Summer Reading Community Challenge” into one Web portal that would let visitors view both challenges and customize what fits their individual needs.

“We want kids reading in the summer,” says Patrick Daley, SVP and publisher of Scholastic Classroom and Community Group. “So we're partnering on the mission.”

Tools: SummerReadingCentral.com provides an online location for the individual challenges. With the “Read for the World Record” challenge, kids are asked to log minutes spent reading. “We really want kids to keep track of their minutes,” says Daley. “We find that it's a huge motivator. And we've built little challenges along the way.”

The 20 schools that log the most minutes will be recognized in the 2012 Scholastic Book of World Records.

For the Summer Reading Community Challenge, visitors can view free literacy–building resources and receive advice. Media outreach will include traditional parenting, education, media, and publishing press.

The challenge will also host blogger parties around the country. Participating bloggers will receive a kit with materials from all three companies. In addition, governors' spouses from around the US will be reading ambassadors and will host events at schools and libraries.

Measurement: Success will be measured by site traffic, cross traffic between the challenges, media impressions, and increases in logged reading minutes over last year's effort. “If kids read six to eight books in the summer,” says Daley, “it would absolutely prevent summer slide.”

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