Kids Around the World Set a New Scholastic World Record Reading More Than 53 Million Minutes!

More than 100,000 kids joined the Scholastic Summer Challenge™ and read and logged their summer reading minutes


New York, NY — August 24, 2011 — Scholastic encouraged kids around the world to read more this summer by joining the Scholastic Summer Challenge - a free reading program dedicated to stopping the ‘Summer Slide,’ the common loss of skills due to being out of school during the summer. Kids logged their minutes spent reading to Read for the World Record. Last year, kids read 52,710,368 minutes, and this year, more than 100,000 children from 4,176 schools in 22 countries smashed the world record, by reading 53,409,988 minutes…and counting!

"Congratulations to all the readers out there who took the Summer Challenge and read together to set a new world record for summer reading," said Francie Alexander, Chief Academic Officer, Scholastic. "In addition to being fun, reading during the summer is extremely important for kids, allowing kids to exercise the power of choice to read the books that they want to read while helping prepare them for the challenges in the next school year."

Research continues to show that when kids have access to books and choose the books they want to read, they are more likely to read in the summer and throughout the year:

  • Ninety-one percent of kids ages 6 to 17 agree with the statement, “I am more likely to finish reading a book that I have picked out myself.” (2010 Kids & Family Reading Report)
  • Studies also show that making sure there are always interesting books at home can increase the likelihood of a child being a frequent reader, especially among ages 9-11 and 15-17. (2010 Kids & Family Reading Report)


While logging their minutes on the Scholastic Summer Challenge website, kids earned virtual rewards, won prizes, joined book chats with other readers and contributed toward their school’s total number of reading minutes. At the end of the summer, the top 20 schools with the most minutes logged will be recognized in the 2012 edition of the Scholastic Book of World Records, which will be available at retail outlets and through Scholastic Book Fairs and Scholastic Book Clubs later this fall.

To further the message about the importance of summer reading, 44 Governors’ Spouses across the country joined the Scholastic Summer Challenge as Reading Ambassadors to promote literacy in their states. On behalf of the Spouse’s participation, Scholastic donated 500 books to a school selected by each First Spouse, for kids to take home and read over summer vacation – totaling 22,000 books. Reading Ambassadors also hosted summer reading kick-off events at local schools and libraries.

Scholastic also worked with teachers and schools across the country to launch the Scholastic Summer Challenge through school-based Book Clubs and spring Book Fairs. More than 125 school districts purchased Scholastic take-home book packs to distribute to their students with messages encouraging parents to keep their kids reading all summer long – distributing more than 2 million books in total.

Visit to learn more about the Scholastic Summer Challenge. For more information about Scholastic, visit our Media Room.


Yanique Hart
Scholastic Inc.