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Press Release

Half a Million Young Readers Helped to Get 200,000 Books to Kids Without Access

New York, NY – September 25, 2019 – This summer, more than 500,000 children nationwide tackled two important issues, summer learning loss—the loss of academic skills that occurs when school is out— and book access, with one solution: reading. As part of the Scholastic Summer Read-a-Palooza, a free educational and philanthropic program, kids tracked their summer reading minutes through the program’s online Summer Reading Challenge, along the way unlocking 200,000 new children’s titles to build home libraries for kids without easy book access. The books, donated by Scholastic, were distributed to kids at select United Way locations across the country. Additionally, independent booksellers and libraries extended the impact of the program by hosting Scholastic Summer Read-a-Palooza Give Back book drives, donating over 10,000 new and lightly-used books to local communities across the country.

To learn more about Scholastic Summer Read-a-Palooza, visit: www.scholastic.com/readapalooza

According to findings from the Scholastic Kids & Family Reading Report™: 7th Edition, kids know that reading provides benefits that extend well beyond the summer months. Seventy-seven percent agree that reading over the summer will help them during the school year. However, the same research shares that there is a rising trend in the number of kids ages 6–17 who read zero books over the summer, from 15% in 2016 to 20% in 2018.

“With kids as the catalyst for change, and United Way as a trusted partner in distributing books to those who need them most, the Scholastic Summer Read-a-Palooza ensured even more children experienced the lasting benefits from summer reading which will extend through the school year and beyond,” said 

Stephanie Smirnov, Executive Vice President, Global Communications, Scholastic. “Today, we celebrate these kids and thank the many parents, teachers, librarians and booksellers who came together to encourage reading over the summer.”

“United Way is proud of our partnership with Scholastic and honored to have distributed over 200,000 books to encourage reading through the Scholastic Summer Read-a-Palooza program,” said Suzanne McCormick, U.S. President, United Way Worldwide. “United Way is dedicated to building more resilient, inclusive and sustainable communities and we believe it’s critical all children have access to a strong start in life and the ability to develop essential literacy skills through access to quality books.”

This is the seventh year in a row kids have read more than 100 million minutes through the online Summer Reading Challenge with a total 109,334,297 minutes. In addition, the school, public library or community partner organization with most minutes read earn the title of “Best in State” School, Top Library or Top Community Partner. They will be featured in the 2020 Scholastic Book of World Records to be released on November 5. The 2019 top participants are:

Best in State Schools:

  • Alabama:  Mt. Carmel Elementary, Huntsville, 37,491 minutes
  • Alaska: North Pole Elementary School, North Pole, 32,352 minutes
  • Arizona: American Leadership Academy - Ironwood Elementary, Queen Creek, 681,300 minutes
  • Arkansas: The New School, Fayetteville, 117,018 minutes
  • California: Warm Springs Elementary School, Fremont, 1,786,885 minutes
  • Colorado: Prospect Ridge Academy, Broomfield, 804,161 minutes
  • Connecticut: Scotland Elementary School, Scotland, 177,451 minutes
  • Delaware: Etta J. Wilson Elementary School, Newark, 317,787 minutes
  • District of Columbia: Holy Trinity School, Washington, D.C., 19,372 minutes
  • Florida: Liberty Park Elementary School, Greenacres, 2,697,828 minutes
  • Georgia: Savannah Country Day Lower School, Savannah               , 400,293 minutes
  • Hawaii: Kanoelani Elementary School, Waipahu, 36,043 minutes
  • Idaho: Compass Public Charter School, Meridian, 161,000 minutes
  • Illinois: Walnut Trails Elementary School, Shorewood, 691,523 minutes
  • Indiana:  Allisonville Elementary School, Indianapolis, 383,854 minutes
  • Iowa:  Clayton Ridge Elementary School, Garnavillo, 312,365 minutes
  • Kansas:  St. Thomas Aquinas School, Wichita, 180,580 minutes
  • Kentucky:  Veterans Park Elementary, Lexington, 963,799 minutes
  • Louisiana:  Lisa Park Elementary School, Houma, 1,257,472 minutes
  • Maine:  Buxton Center Elementary School, Buxton, 373,232 minutes
  • Maryland:  Bradley Hills Elementary School, Bethesda, 1,105,115 minutes
  • Massachusetts:  James M. Quinn Elementary School, North Dartmouth, 1,357,407 minutes
  • Michigan:  St. Clair Middle School, St. Clair, 312,631 minutes
  • Minnesota:  Maranatha Christian Academy, Brooklyn Park, 586,609 minutes
  • Mississippi:  Annunciation Catholic School, Columbus, 719,549 minutes
  • Missouri:  Murphy Elementary School, High Ridge, 98,684 minutes
  • Montana:  Bonner K-8 School, Bonner, 23,938 minutes
  • Nebraska:  Stuart Elementary School, Stuart, 789,612 minutes
  • Nevada:  Jan Jones Blackhurst Elementary School, Las Vegas, 226,638 minutes
  • New Hampshire:  Rochester Middle School, Rochester, 582,634 minutes
  • New Jersey:  Newell Elementary School, Allentown, 1,507,274 minutes
  • New Mexico:  Chamisa Elementary, White Rock, 306,104 minutes
  • New York:  Village Elementary School, Hilton, 784,039 minutes
  • North Carolina:  A.B. Combs Leadership Magnet Elementary School, Raleigh, 1,217,593 minutes
  • North Dakota:  Erik Ramstad Middle School, Minot, 263,822 minutes
  • Ohio:  Ledgeview Elementary School, Macedonia, 201,918 minutes
  • Oklahoma: Colcord Public School, Colcord, 116,049 minutes
  • Oregon:  Holy Cross Catholic School, Portland, 486,937 minutes
  • Pennsylvania:  Skippack Elementary School, Collegeville, 1,014,454 minutes
  • Rhode Island: North Smithfield Elementary School, North Smithfield, 281,520 minutes
  • South Carolina:  Oakridge Elementary School, Clover, 700,116 minutes
  • South Dakota:  Aberdeen Christian School, Aberdeen, 161,122 minutes
  • Tennessee:  Crosswind Elementary School, Collierville, 937,598 minutes
  • Texas: Eastwood Knolls International School, El Paso, 3,627,215 minutes
  • Utah:  Freedom Academy, Provo, 507,719 minutes
  • Vermont:  Orwell Village School, Orwell, 84,898 minutes
  • Virginia:  Ashburn Elementary School, Ashburn, 414,448 minutes
  • Washington: Sunrise Elementary School, Spokane Valley, 1,027,661 minutes
  • West Virginia: St. Francis Central Catholic School, Morgantown, 718,377 minutes
  • Wisconsin:  Riverdale Elementary-Middle School, Muscoda, 449,011 minutes
  • Wyoming:  Casper Classical Academy, Casper, 46,342 minutes

U.S. Territories:

  • Northern Mariana Islands: Saipan Community School, Saipan, 627 minutes
  • Puerto Rico: Robinson School, San Juan, 19,058 minutes
  • U.S. Virgin Islands:  Joseph Gomez Elementary School, St. Thomas, 19,212 minutes

Top 10 Public Libraries and Community Partner Organizations:

  • Dustin Michael Sekula Memorial Library, Edinburg, TX, 435,369 minutes
  •  Pickford Community Library, Pickford, MI, 381,097 minutes
  •  Albia Public Library, Albia, IA, 225,837 minutes
  • Okeechobee County Library, Okeechobee, FL, 117,022 minutes
  • Choteau/Teton Public Library, Choteau, MT, 62,373 minutes
  • Gibbon Public Library, Gibbon, NE, 24,733 minutes
  • Community Progress Council Home Base Program, York, PA, 21,000 minutes
  • Girl Scouts Troop 2241, Turlock, CA, 14,229 minutes
  • Moravia Public Library, Moravia, IA, 13,795 minutes
  • Joseph H. Plumb Memorial Library, Rochester, MA, 13,698 minutes
  • To learn more about Scholastic (NASDAQ: SCHL), the global children’s publishing, education and media company, visit the Company’s media room: http://mediaroom.scholastic.com.
Media Contact

Scholastic
Alex Wladich
212-965-7353

United Way
Southerlyn Reisig
703-836-7100 ext.321