SOURCE: Scholastic Inc.

Scholastic Inc.

September 15, 2009 09:59 ET

Kids Read 83.3 Million Minutes for the Scholastic Summer Challenge™ and to Benefit Save the Children's U.S. Programs

Winning Online Team -- Purple Sea Stars -- Vote for Bonus Donation to Go to Save the Children's Emergency Relief Programs

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - September 15, 2009) - This summer, Scholastic, together with the National Summer Learning Association, launched the Scholastic Summer Challenge™, a free summer reading program designed to encourage kids to read four or more books and help them avoid the "Summer Slide," a common loss of skills due simply to being out of school. Culminating the Summer Challenge, Scholastic will make a financial contribution to Save the Children's U.S. Programs on behalf of all the participants.

The campaign proved successful as kids ages 8-14 read for a combined total of 83,300,000 minutes in four months. More than 60,000 kids went to www.scholastic.com/summer and logged minutes, played online games and recommended books to one another to read for fun.

"All kids need opportunities over the summer to practice what they've learned during the school year," said Brenda McLaughlin, Vice President of Initiatives at the National Summer Learning Association. "Programs that encourage kids to read age-appropriate books that interest them are a great way to keep kids learning over the summer."

In addition to keeping their reading skills sharp, teams have been visiting the Summer Challenge web site to learn about critical issues kids face in the areas of early childhood development, literacy, physical activity and nutrition and emergency preparedness and response, which are at the core of Save the Children's work in the U.S.

"This initiative not only got 60,000 kids reading during the summer but taught them about challenges facing millions of kids across the country," said Mark Shriver, managing director for Save the Children's U.S. programs. "The success of this program is a testament to Scholastic's continued leadership in helping some of America's most vulnerable children."

On top of the financial contribution, books will be given to Save the Children's U.S. emergency relief programs in honor of the winning Scholastic Summer Challenge team, the Purple Sea Stars.

The Scholastic Summer Challenge, a program created by Scholastic (NASDAQ: SCHL), the global children's publishing, education, and media company and sponsored in part by Wendy's, SmartyCard, and Kidzui, was developed to motivate kids to read, as well as to promote the important role parents, educators and librarians play in helping kids find books that will keep them reading all year long.

"The success of the Scholastic Summer Challenge shows that when kids are introduced to new and exciting books, they will want to read for fun," said Francie Alexander, Chief Academic Officer at Scholastic. "Reading today is more than just a solo activity, and kids showed us that they love sharing and expanding the reading experience online. This summer was especially rewarding for kids because they had the opportunity to improve their reading skills while supporting the important work of Save the Children."

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