May 23, 2013

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Why parents need to keep kids reading this summer....

School’s almost out and that means kids – and parents – can take the summer off, right? That wouldn’t be the smartest move for our kids, according to a well-documented summer learning “slump” trend. Experts say that all kids lose ground – in math, reading or other areas – if they don’t engage in learning activities over the summer.
But most parents aren’t comfortable stepping into the role of teacher – they don’t know where to begin or they don’t have the time or resources. That’s why I’m reaching out to you today. Based on a Ready to Learn grant from the Dept. of Education, PBS KIDS has developed free educational resources, packaged in fun games, apps and printable activity sheets, just in time for summer learning and all free at
PBS KIDS has also joined with to create do-it-yourself “reading camp” materials for kids to use at home this summer, available for free at
And, for free math games and activities, parents and kids can visit The PBS KIDS Lab. In fact math is one of the areas parents say they struggle most to help kids with nearly 30 percent of parents reporting anxiety about teaching their child math. Anxiety is even greater for moms (33%) and parents with an education level of high school or less (32%).

Summer Learning Theme-Weeks
Starting Monday, June 3 (check local listings), PBS KIDS presents 10 weeks of themed programming to inspire children ages 2-8 to explore and learn. Each week will feature episodes from a different PBS KIDS series.
The line-up includes:
  • WILD KRATTS – “Bug Week,” starting June 3                  
  • SUPER WHY! – “Super You Week,” starting June 10         
  • SESAME STREET – “Literacy Quest Week,” starting June 17          
  • MARTHA SPEAKS – “Puppy Week,” starting June 24         
  • CURIOUS GEORGE – “Creative George Week,” starting July 1                   
  • DINOSAUR TRAIN – “Dinosaurs A-Z” starting July 8                     
  • DANIEL TIGER’S NEIGHBORHOOD – “Let’s Play Outside Week,” July 15                
  • THE CAT IN THE HAT KNOWS A LOT ABOUT THAT! – “Let’s Get Wet Week,” starting July 22         
  • ARTHUR – “Sports Week,” starting July 29                      
  • WORDGIRL® – “What’s Up With WordGirl Week,” starting August 5          
Partnership Activities
PBS KIDS is working with the following select group of partners to encourage children and families to explore literacy and learning all summer long.
Pottery Barn Kids: PBS KIDS is working with Pottery Barn Kids this summer to highlight the importance of reading through the Pottery Barn Kids Summer Reading Challenge.  From May 24 through August 26, families can find activities and tips from PBS KIDS, including a “PBK Favorites” booklist, certificate of completion and bookmark, in stores and online at Children that complete the list and bring it to a Pottery Barn Kids location will receive a free book, or parents can enter their child into an online drawing for a backpack full of books. Additionally, PBS KIDS will be providing tips to help families create a literate home at participating Pottery Barn Kids retail locations and on the Summer Reading Challenge website. For more information on the Summer Reading Challenge and related activities, visit Beginning May 20, families can visit Summer Reading Adventures hosted by to access a number of summer reading resources, including a “Do-It-Yourself” Reading Camp. “DIY” Reading Camp includes everything parents need to host 10 weeks of learning fun right from their own living rooms and backyards. Each camp week includes a dozen projects and activities, including specially selected PBS KIDS content, for parents and kids to do together. PBS KIDS and will also encourage families to read over the summer months with the “We’ll Read 10” pledge – which offers families the chance to win one of five Kindle Prize Packs. To take the pledge or learn more about DIY Summer Reading camp, visit
Scholastic: As the national “Ambassador of Summer Reading,” WordGirl is challenging kids to read every day this summer through Scholastic’s Summer Challenge. The Scholastic Summer Challenge™ is a free online reading program where kids can log their reading minutes to earn rewards and help set a new 2013 world record for summer reading to beat last year’s record of 95,859,491 minutes. Grandparents can help kids with reading, too. PBS KIDS is proud to be working with to offer resources to provide grandparents with ideas and literacy-building activities that they can do with their grandchildren over the summer break.
Online and Mobile Resources
Select episodes and clips will also be featured on and on the free PBS KIDS Video App. Additionally, each week a special episode will be available as a free download on iTunes.
Online, parents and caregivers will find free, downloadable activity guides and printables to host reading parties and more on Literacy-focused games and activities will be available for kids at PBS KIDS also offers more than 25 educational mobile apps available on iOS and Android to help kids build key skills for learning.
Through a variety of summer learning initiatives, PBS KIDS continues to offer educational and engaging content across platforms to more and more families. PBS KIDS is increasingly serving children wherever they live, learn and play.


  1. thanks for sharing! these look like awesome programs! we do the one at Barnes and Noble every summer

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