Summer reading spotlight: Florida

Michael Barrett  //  Nov 17, 2016

Summer reading spotlight: Florida

As part of our celebration around the 2016 Scholastic Summer Reading Challenge, we're highlighting the stories of participating schools around the world. We have asked several schools to share with us how their school used the program to motivate students to keep reading all summer long. 

We caught up with Sharon Powers at Lake Nona Middle School in Orlando, Florida. Lake Nona Middle School ranked 9th globally in the Summer Reading Challenge - and earned the title of "Best in State" for Florida! Learn what the school did to keep kids reading this summer - as they collectively read over 3.8 million minutes


1.)    Did you do any special events before the end of the school year to kick off the challenge? 

We had a "Summer Reading Kickoff" event on a Saturday morning.  We featured our Scholastic Book Fair and summer reading titles at the event.  We invited local summer camps, the public library, and vendors to set up shop.  We had food and had a great turn out.  I also visited all of our local elementary schools to inform them of our summer reading requirement, distributed pamphlets about log-in information [for the Scholastic Summer Reading Challenge], and motivated kids with "mini book talks."


2.)    Did you do anything above and beyond to keep kids and the parents involved? 

During summer the media center was open two days per week.  We offered incentives to students to come in and check out books and log their minutes.  We sent out "reminder" texts to parents to keep them informed of our minutes and encouraged them to have their kids log their minutes.


3)    Did you do anything special with your local community? PTA? or library? 

At our summer reading event we did invite community camps and the library to advertise their summer reading programs. 


4.)    Was your whole school signed up? If so, how did educators work together? 

All of our students were registered, including incoming 6th graders and outgoing 8th graders.  We have a VERY LARGE school so the total number of students who could have logged minutes was close to 2,500!


5.)    What is the main tip you can provide to other schools to get kids reading over the summer? 

The availability of reading materials.  Have your library open if possible.  Create a mobile library if needed.  Keep the importance of the summer reading [a top of mind] by using social media...or whatever you can!