The iVillage PBS KIDS Summer Reading Community Challenge has begun and my family and I are participating. This is a free six week program of daily e-mails full of literacy-building resources for parents to help us keep our kids reading and beating the “summer slide.”

Challenge Coach, Angela Santomero, Creator, Executive Producer and Head Writer of SUPER WHY!, personally provides daily reading activity assignments and offers accessible educational advice. Additionally, PBS KIDS on-air and online is all about literacy, with themed weeks airing on PBS KIDS and resources for parents to use with their children this summer.

My big kids Charlie and Eve were asked by PBS KIDS to help spread the word about the Summer Reading Challenge to their friends by hosting a Summer Reading Party at our house.We all had a blast! PBS KIDS and iVillage sent us a ton of learning and party accessories to get into the summer reading spirit.

There were items for a crazy fun home photo booth like a Cat in the Hat topper…

and a “picture frame”…


SUPER WHY! tattoos…

Items for a great big WordGirl activity station (full of free printables that YOU can get, too) that started out like this:

and ended up in summer learning chaos like this:

On second thought, if you would like to avoid that mess on your own dining room table, you can also get Storia, the free eReading App from Scholastic, as well as free PBS KIDS learning downloads on iTunes.

All of our friends left with a big ol’ goody bag filled with PBS KIDS bookmarks, stickers, a reading list, even their own children’s book from Scholastic.

Scholastic also has a summer reading program for kids with lots of free learning and prizes for logging your summer reading. Check out the Scholastic Summer Challenge. And if you are inclined to pick up some new Scholastic books for your kids, use coupon code READ10 for 10% off Summer Challenge titles (coupon good until August 31, 2012).


This was a great way for us to kick off the summer, and a great way to emphasize that learning doesn’t have to stop when the last school bell rings.

Have your own family reading party this summer with the free iVillage PBS KIDS Summer Reading Community Challenge.

Disclosure: PBS KIDS sent my family a box of summer reading accessories to share with our IRL friends  to inspire excitement about reading this summer. I thought it was a fabulous idea, as my children and I are planning a summer of at-home learning and fun. No other compensation was received, and all other party hosting items happily provided by me.