More Than 4,000 Students From 30 Minneapolis Schools to Receive 10 Free Books Through Start Reading Now and Scholastic

Contact: Josephine Djonovic, Scholastic, 212-343-6876,

First and second graders receive access to new, free books to add to their home libraries and help combat the “summer slide”

NEW YORK, NY— June 1, 2017 — Recent research from the Kids & Family Reading Report™: 6th Edition, released by Scholastic, found that 80% of kids agree that reading books over the summer will help them during the school year, yet 21% of children in lower-income families did not read any books last summer. Many of Minneapolis’ students have never owned their own books, making it difficult for kids to stay on track and avoid the “summer slide”—the learning loss which can occur over the summer months. To ensure more students across the state have access to books at home, Start Reading Now, a researched-based non-profit that addresses summer slide by getting books into the hands of low-income children, will be providing students with books from Scholastic Book Fairs, a division of Scholastic, the world's largest publisher and distributor of children's books.

This June, Start Reading Now will provide 10 new free books for each of its 4,000 first and second graders at dedicated Scholastic Book Fairs held at 30 Minneapolis elementary schools. Start Reading Now not only provides children access to books, but it also incorporates the critical component of choice, allowing students to self-select their own books from hundreds of titles. As research shows, the majority of kids agree they are more likely to finish books they have picked out themselves, and these books are often times their favorite. (1)

In 2018 the program will also serve students entering the third grade, providing participating children with a total of 30 books for their home library over the course of the three year program.


“Too many of our children lack access to books in their communities, making it harder for them to continue reading during the summer months and return to school in the fall prepared to tackle the new school year,” said Alan Boyko, President of Scholastic Book Fairs. “By collaborating with Start Reading Now, we are providing the youngest students of Minneapolis access to new, engaging titles to encourage reading for fun over their summer break, and, most importantly, the opportunity to select the titles that interest them and foster a love of reading.”

“We're very excited to be serving double the kids across Minneapolis this year. And the excitement is contagious on the day of the book fairs - the kids can't believe they get to take home 10 brand new books," said Pam Longfellow, Co-Founder of Start Reading Now. "It's also amazing to see the spirit of giving among the kids. I'll never forget one student coming up and asking if she could exchange one of her books. She explained that her cousin has never owned a book, and she wanted to get two books for her cousin instead of just one. This generosity is a heartwarming thing to see."


For more about Scholastic Book Fairs, visit the online press kit

For more information about Start Reading Now, visit


(1) The Kids and Family Reading Report™: 6th Edition conducted by YouGov and Scholastic, 2016.