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Sign-ups for the 2019 Summer Reading Challenge are now open!

About the Reading Challenge

I grew up loving to read. I had older siblings who enjoyed reading during the summer months and inspired me to do the same. While I spent a lot of time playing sports outside, I always found time for my favorite books.

My goal with starting this challenge is to help inspire more kids to read and bring light to the detrimental effects of summer learning loss. The decline in reading proficiency over the summer months can have a profoundly negative effect on a student's success down the line, especially affecting lower-income students. 

Last summer, we built a community of readers which culminated in a great experience for everyone at Cal’s opening game. With the 2019 Summer Reading Challenge, we will work to make it even better.

We have a new set of players who will help make the challenge a success. Mike Saffell will be the Lead Ambassador for the program. He’s an incredible player but an even better person. I encourage everyone to share their participation with the Reading Challenge by posting online using the hashtag #ReadWithMike

If you don’t have kids in elementary school but want to support the challenge, sign up for my newsletter to hear opportunities on how to help. More information is coming soon.

We are fortunate to have the support of Cal Athletics to fight summer learning loss. Cal will provide tickets to the first game (August 31st) to all students who complete the Summer Reading Challenge. I look forward to continuing to the challenge!


Statistics on Summer learning loss

Summer learning loss refers to the decline in children's reading development that occurs during summer vacation when children are away from the classroom. 

REading Proficiency Decline

Summer reading during the summer months is tremendously important to student success. 

  • More than two months of reading skills can be lost over the summer vacation period

  • Students who show up in fall with declined reading proficiency levels fall farther behind than students who maintain or gain in reading proficiency throughout the summer months

  • Declines can compound, resulting in over two years worth of lost reading development by 6th grade

The good news

Summer learning loss can be fully overcome by encouraging students to read over the summer. 

  • Reading just 4-6 books over the summer can help eliminate Summer Learning Loss

  • Letting students choose their own books makes them more likely to read over the summer

    • It's important students find the right books based on their interests and reading level. Find the right book using the Lexile Framework for Reading's "Find A Book" tool.

  • Creating a structure for students as well as providing incentives can motivate kids to achieve their summer reading goals

    • Walk On Then Run is looking to build a community of readers this summer to help kids achieve their goals as well as provide tips for parents along the way.

Completing the Challenge

1st and 2nd Grade – Read at least 4 books this summer and receive 4 tickets* to Cal's opening game against UC Davis on August 31st.

3rd through 6th Grade – Read at least 6 books this summer and receive 4 tickets* to Cal's opening game against UC Davis on August 31st.

After signing up, parents will receive a summer reading log via email. The log will serve as an official voucher for the tickets. After completing the challenge and filling out the journal, students and their families can turn it in to a Cal Ticket Office to receive their tickets. 

*Additional tickets may be purchased alongside the 4 tickets received for completing the challenge.

If multiple students from the same household complete the challenge, an additional 2 tickets will be awarded per additional participant.