United Way and Scholastic Team up to Prevent Summer Slide

United Way Worldwide and Scholastic, the global children’s publishing, education and media company, have partnered to distribute 200,000 free children’s books across the United States to children who don’t have sufficient access to books during the summer months. This collaboration is all part of the Scholastic Summer Read-a-Palooza, a nation-wide movement to unite kids, parents, educators, public librarians, community partners and booksellers in an effort to keep every child reading. 

United Way of North Central Florida (UWNCFL) has distributed a total of 1,333 books to kids at the Village Green National Night Out and Porter’s Community Back to School Block Party events, as well as to Rawlings Elementary, Kids Count, Girls Place, Inc. and Caring and Sharing Learning School. 

“Scholastic Summer Read-a-Palooza is a great opportunity for communities everywhere to support childhood education and prevent ‘summer slide’ – the loss of proficiency in reading and math that students experience when out of school and not participating in enriching activities to keep them engaged in learning,” said Mona Gil de Gibaja, UWNCFL President & CEO. “United Way works with generous partners like Scholastic and strives to ensure that all children get a strong start, with a solid foundation in school and life.”

“Scholastic is proud to collaborate with United Way to help support parents and educators in their effort to keep kids reading year-round,” said Stephanie Smirnov, Scholastic Executive Vice President, Global Corporate Communications. “Together we’re distributing 200,000 books in all 50 states in urban, rural and suburban communities with the shared goal of making reading possible for kids for whom book access is challenging during the summer months.”

How Scholastic Summer Read-a-Palooza works:

  • As part of Scholastic Summer Read-a-Palooza, children in all 50 states have signed up to participate in the online reading challenge to help unlock book donations to kids in need. When children reach summer reading milestones of 25, 50, & 100 million minutes, Scholastic releases free books for United Ways to distribute to children who need them most. Kids everywhere can sign up for the Scholastic Read-a-Palooza Summer Reading Challenge by visiting: scholastic.com/summer
  • Local United Ways will distribute the books through local summer programs supported by local United Ways or as part of community events.
  • Five titles will be available (in equal amounts) that are age appropriate for preschool through elementary school-aged students: Clifford the Big Red Dog (Age Range: 4-8 years; Grade Level: Preschool-3), Clifford va al Zoologico (in Spanish, Age Range: 4-8 years; Grade Level: Preschool and up), Hi, Fly Guy! (Age Range: 4-8 years; Grade Level: Preschool-3), Captain Underpants Extra-Crunchy Book O’ Fun (Age Range: 7 and up; Grade Level: 2-4), I Survived #8: I Survived the Japanese Tsunami (Age Range: 7-10 years; Grade Level: 2-5)

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