Summer Learning Contest: How will you engage your students and community in reading this summer?

Brittany Sullivan  //  Apr 4, 2018

Summer Learning Contest: How will you engage your students and community in reading this summer?

During the school year, literacy is the cornerstone of student learning both inside the classroom and at home. Here at Scholastic, we’ve seen the power of reading time and time again as students develop their skills and open their eyes to new literary adventures and a world of greater understanding. But what happens when the school year ends and summer begins?

According to findings from the Scholastic Kids & Family Reading Report™: 6th Edition, kids read eight books over the summer on average; however one in five 12–17 year-olds and one in five kids in lower-income families do not read any books at all over the summer. We know that reading year-round is critical because the “summer slide”—the common loss of academic skills while students out of school—is responsible for as much as 85% of the reading achievement gap between higher- and lower-income students (Allington and McGill-Franzen, 2009).

As the end of the school year rapidly approaches, we want to hear from you in the Summer Learning Contest! How are you creatively engaging your students, families, and community partners to promote reading this summer? Whether you’re creating a book club, partnering with the public library, distributing free books, hosting read-alouds—anything—we want to know.

Tell us: How will you engage your students and community to make a “summer leap” in literacy skills when school lets out this year?


Contest Details:

The Summer Learning Contest is open through 11:59p.m. EST on Wednesday, April 25, 2018. To enter, describe in the comments section below your plan to inspire summer reading among kids during the summer months.

Three grand prize winners will be selected based on academic alignment, community connectivity, student engagement, and innovation. The winners will have the opportunity to select one of two prizes:

  • Two LitCamp Kits: Each includes 150–160 books, 15 student portfolios, 15 wristbands, grade-specific leader’s guide, and the professional book Every Child a Super Reader by Pam Allyn and Ernest Morrell


  • 60 My Books Summer student book packs: Each student pack includes five books, five activity sheets, a student journal, plus an educator program guide with tips for program implementation and family engagement tools.

No purchase necessary to enter or win. Contest is open to legal residents of the 50 United States and the District of Columbia, age 18 and older as of April 4, 2018, who work in or volunteer for youth programming and/or education. One entry per person. To read the full rules, click here.


My school is a Title 1 school

My school is a Title 1 school located in Irving, Texas. To encourage reading and to ensure that our students have access to bilingual books, my school will have the librarian from our local public library come in May and get the students excited about their summer reading program. If they join and read throughout the summer, our students will receive fun prizes and incentives. We also have a community partner that would like to donate some summer reading books to our students. I have also received permission from my principal to open the school library several days this summer. I will be there to help those struggling readers with their books. I am the bilingual literacy specialist at our school, so I will also be able to support our Spanish speaking students.
We are working on a hashtag that students can use to share their summer books on our schools Twitter page. As students return to school in August and bring back their summer reading logs, they will be entered in a drawing for some fun prizes and to throw pies in the faces of some willing teachers.
I am very passionate about literacy and understand the importance of summer reading.

I am 4th grade teacher in

I am 4th grade teacher in South Carolina. If given the My Books Summer Student Packs, I will given them to my current students. Unfortunately, many of my students are not privileged or does not own any reading books of their own. Providing them with a few books this summer will help engage them in the love of reading. If given the Two Lit Camps, I would provide those books to the students in the community that I grew up in. During the summer, most of the students are not able to participate in summer enrichment programs due to the cost or lack there of. Being able to provided them with a book that they can read to escape reality would help the summer go by better.

We are setting up a book club

We are setting up a book club and are planning to do it over Skype each week. We have a pool of books to choose from and hopefully will get through at least 3 of them! At end of summer we are going to meet together at a park and have a party, with prizes for various achievements; such as, most meetings attended, most pages read, etc.

My goal is to share as many

My goal is to share as many resources as possible with my students and their families. Encouraging them to find books that suit them, provided book lists, being available for recommendations, and encouraging the use of audiobooks. I think it’s important to provide quality and to inspire read alouds at home and within the community.

This summer, for our second

This summer, for our second year, our school plans to continue engaging our community of students during Summer open library times at Ella Canavan Elementary.. Teachers and staff will be on site to encourage students to check out new books, participate in book clubs, have access to computer learning games, writing activities and read alouds. Students can walk or ride their bikes to school once a week during summer break to help support and continue their reading skills while school is not in session. This Scholastic summer reading program would allow us to put more books into the hands of multiple children and families in our school neighborhood. In addition these books will allow children to start their own libraries at home and always have a book in hand.
Our students are very familiar with our successful Scholastic Book Fairs and get so excited about Scholastic Books. With the support of this program, students, staff and parents would have more opportunities to explore different books from different genres and become readers for life!

As an early childhood special

As an early childhood special educator I work to develop a deep love of reading early in my student's education. My students receive books from me several times throughout the school year and reading is a huge piece of our daily routine. I would love to be able to provide opportunities for them to continue their reading throughout the summer. I would also incorporate the program into my own home summer program so the students I serve there can benefit as well. Every child deserves opportunities to read.

I have been stocking up on

I have been stocking up on Scholastic books from the dollar section since the beginning of the school year.Currently, I have three books set aside for my students at just right reading levels for first grade. Some students are already able to read these books independently, and can share with other siblings and their families. Others will still need support from parents and older siblings. For my incoming students, I always order the night before first grade to send home on the last day of our school year. Accompanied with this is a letter explaining the importance of reading, and sharing with families more information about what to expect in reading in first grade. Every student is a reader! It’s a foundation of our classroom culture! I have also stocked up at yard sales, from the ‘by donation’ section at the grocery store, and at the local library sale. I plan on giving each child the choice of two additional books to help encourage them to read, and also to give them each their own gift. Our students all receive free breakfast and lunch, and many have very little to call their own at home. Nothing competes with the statement “you mean this is my own book, to keep?” when it comes to filling my heart with joy.

I do several things to keep

I do several things to keep my kids reading. First I always give a free book 4 times a year. They can pick from my "free book box" which they LOVE. Then I send home a summer reading packet with lists of titles they would enjoy that can be checked out from the public library. The list also shows what level they are at and specific titles at that level so parents can get an idea of a "good fit book" for their children. I am sending home a summer reading log so that if they read a certain number of books over the summer they can come back and see me in the fall to pick another free book. I am sending email reminders to my kid's families to READ, READ, READ this summer. I always send a postcard to all my kids from my vacation spot and put in a plug for reading about where I am. Most of all I try to transfer my love of reading to my kiddos. I would do anything for them that would enable reading this summer:)

I am an EL teacher and we

I am an EL teacher and we really see the summer slide in our EL population, especially in the younger grades. A small group of teachers would like to run a summer literacy camp for a few weeks and give our students access to books over the summer. These materials would be a fun and engaging way to do that. We are a K-8 school and currently many of our students are 1-2 grade levels behind in reading. They come from families where parents or guardians are not fully literate and they are not encouraged to read at home not do they have access to appropriate reading material. We are working to improve these skills and this is one idea we would like to implement this summer.

I am currently a 3rd grade

I am currently a 3rd grade teacher in a Title 1 school. I have many students in my grade that are way behind in their reading level. I would love to have this program to allow my children the opportunity for summer growth, instead of a summer decline. I will target all of the 3rd and 2nd graders that are in the most need, and with this program's assistance, I am looking forward to upward growth on their GRL. Thank you for this opportunity!

I am a Family Resource

I am a Family Resource Coordinator for two elementary schools. I work with the schools reading intervention teachers to identify students in K-3 that need extra help over the summer in increasing their skills in fluency, comprehension, phonics, and motivation in enjoying to read. I have booked rooms at our local library for two weeks in June twice a week and have sent home letters to all parent/guardians of about 70 kids to get the first 30 consent forms back to attend the program. I have 3 adult volunteers (that includes myself) and two teen helpers to divide students in groups. Parents will have to transport their child to and from the program, but if there are identified children already attending the summer childcare program at their school then they will be eligible to be bussed from the school childcare program to the library and back. This cost of the bus and driver is picked up by the family resource donations account. ($400). I will use books the school can provide and come up with lesson plans for each book and for each group and reading level. I have a monster mascot (stuffed animal) that loves books so I hope he can engage the students with excitement, fun and games over the 2 week period. I would love to be able to provide some take home packets at the end of the two week period of learning for students to continue learning the month of July. School starts the second week of August. The library also gives each student a packet of info on what activities are going on at the library to encourage students and families to come back and join in the fun. We did this program last year for the first time and had a total of 21 student that attended over a 3 week period. 3 weeks was hard with keeping volunteers, so it will be 2 weeks this year. The volunteers range from community members, retired teachers, and some parents. Our local newspaper came and took pictures and did an article on the partnership between the library, family resource, and the community members volunteering.

Thanks for such an exciting

Thanks for such an exciting opportunity! I work with a locally-based nonprofit called Literacy Lubbock. We promote literacy and education in the community. Our ever-expanding plan to combat the "summer slide" sees us partnering with other local organizations and businesses. We'll be taking books every week to the local Buckner Children's Home to pass out to the foster kids there. We'll play games, make crafts, and read through the books of the week in order to stimulate their learning. And, what's more, they'll keep the books once we're done! In the previous years we've done this summer program, we've seen our kiddos light up once they realize that this brand new books are theirs. And, more than that, they've never belonged to someone else: they're new, unused, and aren't hand-me-down leftovers. This alone spurns them on into reading these books, and this year, we're hoping to increase the number of books we give them. To make it more fun and engaging, we've partnered with the local Dion's to hold a pizza party for the readers who complete a set number of books throughout the summer. And, to the kids in the community outside of the foster-care system, we have our Tiny Tots Read a Lot! program, where, each week, we head to public libraries around town to have story time. Afterward, the children get to take home a copy of their very own book for free! It's a wonderful event, and though it takes place throughout the year, we really see an upswing in attendance during the summer months, when those school-age kids come with their younger siblings who attend throughout the year. The Mayor's attended a session, and took part in the singing and dancing we do afterward to really brighten up the kids. Holding it in the public libraries, we often see kids picking up more books to check-out and take home along with their own book they've just received. And, even better, all of our readers are Literacy Lubbock volunteers. We see parents, pastors, businessmen and women, and retired teachers all reading at our Tiny Tots programs in order to spread the importance of reading at an early age. By giving children access to books, we hope to surround them with reading and show them that reading is fun, and not something that has to be done for school. If we make it fun, and give them yummy incentives, we find the children receptive to reading. And that's how we hope to combat the "summer slide" this year!

Each summer, I co-teach an

Each summer, I co-teach an ESL summer school for children entering Kindergarten through 4th grade. Our district realizes that all students have a tendency to lose what they do not use over summer break, but since our students all have a primary language other than English, it is detrimental to their literacy to continue using these skills. My co-teacher and I use several resources to keep our students from backsliding in their reading, speaking and writing skills, through fun, engaging activities. LitCamp would be an amazing resource for our program. Our goal is to have a literacy-rich, active and captivating curriculum that includes learning experiences not only our students but their parents and siblings as well. My co-teacher and I are ALWAYS looking to grow as educators and find new ways to keep our students on track and their parents involved to the highest level because they are the child's first teacher.

Our district hosts an

Our district hosts an individual summer reading program for students in grades 1-5th. Students are scheduled for 30 minute slots two times per week for 6 weeks. I teach one section of students. I set goals for each student to help support and encourage their reading throughout the summer. We hold the summer reading program at our local library so students have access to check out books and partner with the librarians so students are selecting good fit books, increasing and helping support the library circulation and keeping students reading during the summer. I also host a book club for the 5th graders also meeting for 6 weeks. I would love to have a selection of free books to give away to students in prime locations during the summer such as the park and splash park getting books in the hands of students who don't have access to the public library. We will also be adding a little book library at our school this summer and I would love to have books to fill the little library and keep it full during the summer.

We are handcrafting our own

We are handcrafting our own stories from summers and spring adventures! We paint pictures, write the stories, and bind the books.

I'm sending home reading

I'm sending home reading calendars for each month of summer and offering incentives for my kindergarteners to bring them (completed) to me in August, when they're starting first grade!

I am admin for our school

I am admin for our school Facebook page. Each summer I post a weekly “Reading Corner” in which I list several titles of books, with reading level recommendations, for summer reading ideas. All of the books have been personally read by me to ensure content is appropriate. I also post all of the summer reading programs available in the community to take advantage of. The “Reading Corner” posts also check in with and encourage viewers to keep reading. These posts benefit our own school students and families as almost all of them follow the page but also encourages reading to our community both online and off to read by having access to the same recommendations.

This year we had an optional

This year we had an optional book report to mark the seasons changing. We had about 40% of the students work on them.
I think for summer we could have a book scavenger hunt. The students could check off what they did all summer to complete the list. When they sign up they could all get a book.

I have planned to use the

I have planned to use the rooms at the library to meet with students every other week throughout the summer to continue their reading. We have a few titles we want to explore and this gives us a way to hold conversations about books from various ranges.

Our school district works

Our school district works hand-in-hand with our public library's summer reading program. Each spring students tour the library, sign up for a library card if they don't have one and are provided with a brochure about the summer reading program and the numerous events/activities, including authors, Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Mathematics classes/workshops; a wide variety of programs (music, magic, puppets, crafts, movies, Legos, Minecraft, etc.), prizes and the end of the summer reading celebration. Each reader who completes the program receives a free book of their choice. Nearly 1000 readers from preschool to high school, including over 100 teens, participate. It's a joyful community/school partnership!

I want my kids and their

I want my kids and their extended circle of friends to get together every alternate day and get involved for 2 hours compulsorily. They can read with me or with out me but their activities will ensure that they read atleast 5 books over summer. Some of the activities when the students will meet are as follows:
1. Share what you read one by one- introduction, characters, prediction.
2. Create an A4 size scene of what you did not like. Put it on the wall of the reading room and talk about it.
3. In your 'reflective journal' mention what could have been better instead of what you read in the book.
4. Understand the basic plot and talk about it with others.
5. Create a mask for yourself for your favourite character on the book.
6. Create a poem (at least 4 lines) for what you think was good in your book.
7. Write some of the humourous lines from the book in the journal.
8. On the basis of your first book decide a timeline for your second book.
9. Think and write an email to your author about what was the best part of the book.
10. Write a review on and give ratings for other readers.

I haven't decided on our

I haven't decided on our exact summer plans yet, but I do plan on doing some sort of summer reading challenge. I also am thinking about doing something like Beautiful Feet where they read picture books to go to different countries. I think that would be a fun way to spend our summer together with books.

I plan to work with small

I plan to work with small groups this summer who are struggling with their reading skills I have a few students that are grade level or more behind. I hope to reach them and give them a head start for the next school year.

I am a single mother of three

I am a single mother of three, soon to be four. I have three Elementary school aged children that have a deep love of reading (makes me very proud). I feel that there is a lack of Summer Reading Programs in my local neighborhood (the programs that offer Summer Reading are only virtual/online offered once a week and not affordable). I would love to instill a community program or offer other children that would be interested in developing a book club during the summer. My children have shared this interest, but I only lack the resources. This opportunity would make a difference to many children and definitely put a smile on my kids face.

I just started teaching basic

I just started teaching basic skills reading in an elementary school for students K through 2. I have 35 students in my classes, a portion of the students who receive basic skills instruction. Many of the students get little home support, but enjoy reading in my class. The stigma that basic skills comes with is a ways off, but what if it was thought of as a class to hone skills and explore literarure.
This summer, I would like to create a story telling festival in my town. Children would come to the community center and be introduced to different kinds of literature. With creative and academic support, the children will group up, pair up, or individually tell a story, even acting it out, before a crowd. I am learning more about multi sensory approach to learning and how information is more likely to be retained when paired with emotion and movement. Children will also recieve guided reading instruction to help with comprehension. This is important to taxonomies from recall through creation and will keep the kids engaged and focused on least for a few hours each week throughout the summer.
I hope to make the festival an annual summer event.

As a middle school librarian,

As a middle school librarian, I am always excited to meet our new 6th graders. They will tour our school in May and receive welcome letters from our current 6th graders. Prior to their visit, our current students will create videos on Flipgird to share favorite books that they read during their first year of middle school. Many students have anxiety about starting middle school and I think this will be a great icebreaker to welcome them and book talk! If we have new books from Scholastic we could give them to our incoming students! A program like LitCamp would be so helpful since our students live in a rural, remote community. We would continue to share book titles on our school library instagram and twitter accounts using the hashtag #nmslit! This is an engaging way to connect to our summer readers and see what books they are enjoying! Here is a link to our Flipgrid

We have a Little Free Library (Charter #22219) created and managed by our students. It has books available for any/all of our students. We are always looking for more book titles to share with our readers! During their first school visit, students can take a book as a gift from their new school library!

As an elementary bilingual

As an elementary bilingual teacher, it is imperative that our kids continue reading. Through literature bilingual and ESL students are able to acquire more vocabulary and see how it is used both in conversation through dialogue as well as in written form.

This summer I plan to encourage student “News Reports” through our ClassDojo accounts. Since each student has an account students will give a “News Report” through their account. I want them to stay connected by telling me about their summer adventures but specifically to give us a glimpse into what they are reading.

Through this site and app I am able to stay connected and involved in the lives of these wonderful families. I can upload a video with my feedback or ask questions dwelling deeper into their stories. I can encourage the students to visit libraries or also nite them to check out 2 of the Little Free Libraries we’ve set up in town!

I am excited to use ClassDojo as a way of keeping the communication and enthusiasm present. Having Scjolayic as part of this adventure would make it truly magical!

I teach ELA/SS. We are

I teach ELA/SS. We are encouraging our students to participate in summer reading challenges through the Scholastic Summer Challenge and the B & N Reading Challenge. However, the students will have to find their own books. Winning this contest will allow many of my students to get a jump start on these challenges by having books.

I am a middle school language

I am a middle school language arts teacher in a small, rural district. In order to help encourage and promote summer reading I have students fill books to take books from my classroom library home with them to read over the summer. I write personal letters to students throughout the summer to check in with students and let them know I'm thinking of them. I also post pictures of what I'm reading throughout the summer on my teacher Instagram account. I create a Google doc on which I keep track of all of the book covers of the books I read over the summer. When my students and I gather back in the fall, I book talk through all of the titles and share those books with my students.

I plan to inspire summer

I plan to inspire summer reading among kids during the summer months by choosing the 60 My Books Summer student book pack. I will make sure to give students a mixture of literature and non-fiction books in order to raise engagement and to help broaden student horizon's. I have done this before with students, but I was missing the five activity sheets, a student journal, and family engagement tools which would help make my program a much bigger success.

Objective and Desired Outcomes: To create a "reading leap" over the summer so that students are able to be reading a level above where they left school at in May.

At this point in the year,

At this point in the year, the students are tired and they are “done” with school. I always try to keep the momentum going so they continue to read and learn over the summer. Recently, I shared with the class that we will be transforming our classroom into a campground on June 8th (second to last day of school) and we will be dedicating the whole day to reading. We are planning “blackout” reading with flashlights, reading under the “stars”, special visitors to come and read, s’mores, and more! Even though it is more than a month away, they are so excited! They will each receive a new book that day, as well, and we will discuss how important it is to continue reading over the summer. I hope that this fun day inspires my students and the spark of excitement takes them through the summer.

Reading is a main funmental

Reading is a main funmental that most kids forget half year during summer.this would be great way boost the reading during the summer.vkc

The book bus was rolled out 2

The book bus was rolled out 2 summers ago and was started to meet the very same needs that has motivated this contest. Our district is growing, so there are more students to reach through the summer book bus stops. Current and retired teachers serve our community by volunteering on the book bus to read to children and assist them in picking out “just right” books to take home. Reload the bus with books!

I teach 4th-7th ELA in rural

I teach 4th-7th ELA in rural (off the road system) Alaska. I am planning on implementing a summer reading program for all PreK-8th graders along with children that are visiting our village for the summer, this humber can range from 5 to 20 through out the summer. The community (school library) is open during the summer several days a week. Once or twice a week, I will be inviting students to partake in read-alouds, choosing personal books, reading games, and reading activities. Reading activities will include book clubs, literature circles, reading journals, and art based off of the books they are reading. Community members will be encouraged to join in on these activities. Doing this summer reading activity has the potential to reach 80 children in my community. Encourage children to read over summer is a great way for students to keep up their reading skills and to gain more knowledge through the power of books!

I am a brand new lit

I am a brand new lit interventionist in a grade school. I am so thankful to be here to read all of these amazing ideas and use everyone’s advice to create my own plan to inspire lit goals over the summer!!

I’m a home daycare provider

I’m a home daycare provider and for the summer months I will continue to read to the children at least three times a day. I will continue to rotate books related to the theme.

I am a first grade teacher

I am a first grade teacher who is working to encourage more reading over this summer in our K - 12 district. Currently I am collaborating with our local public librarian to develop a summer reading program for our students. Beginning in May, I have scheduled a field trip for all first graders to visit the local public library to get their library cards, participate in a tour, read aloud, refreshments, and meet the local public librarian. Her and I will launch our summer reading program in June to the entire school district. She will be visiting our school to do read alouds and/or booktalks in all grade levels. We will explain the summer reading program, which will consist of BINGO cards to fill out as they read books over the summer. Students can bring their cards to the library when they have a BINGO to get a free book and be entered in a drawing for prizes. There will also be some entertainment offered four times throughout the summer reading program at the library. This is the first time that we have tried this collaboration and I’m hoping that it will be successful and prevent the summer slide from occurring. We are going to try to get donations from local businesses to use as reading prizes/incentives for the students. It would be terrific if we won some books from Scholastic to give out to students participating in the summer reading program.