Suncoast Summer Reading Challenge

Research shows that children who do not read during the summer can lose up to three months of reading progress and that the loss has a cumulative, long-term effect on them. But reading just six books at the appropriate reading level during the summer can prevent that “summer slide” and keep a struggling reader from regressing. In response, the Suncoast Campaign for Grade-Level Reading (SCGLR) sponsors a Suncoast Summer Reading Challenge to encourage each participating student to read six books, at their appropriate reading level, over the summer months.

Ways to participate!

SCGLR is welcoming back the Suncoast Summer Reading Challenge (SSRC), and this year, we are introducing THIS BOOK IS COOL! THIS BOOK IS COOL! is a series of 100 webisodes to encourage a love of reading. Qualified children signed up for THIS BOOK IS COOL! will receive up to 20 books, thanks to the generosity of The Patterson Foundation​. THIS BOOK IS COOL! begins June 1, but those who do not hear about it right away will not be excluded. All who qualify can register until week 7. Children who do not qualify can still participate, but will not receive FREE books.

Reading is one of the most important skills your child can master. There is a strong connection between reading well and overall academic and life success. Research shows that children who do not read regularly can lose two months or more of reading skills over the summer. Reading just six books at the appropriate reading level during the summer can help your child soar during the school year.

SCGLR will distribute books and hand out rewards to qualifying* children, grades PreK–3, who are registered and fully participating in THIS BOOK IS COOL! To maintain an active status in THIS BOOK IS COOL!, parents must submit a weekly total of the number of books their child has read.

*To qualify for THIS BOOK IS COOL!, you must be:
↪ A resident of Charlotte, DeSoto, Manatee, or Sarasota counties
↪ Entering grades PreK–3
↪ Enrolled at a Title I school or eligible for free/reduced lunch
↪ Not enrolled in a summer camp or summer program already participating in THIS BOOK IS COOL!

What you provide:
• Registration of each child
• Weekly updates of how many books each child has read

What SCGLR provides for qualifying participants in the Suncoast Summer Reading Challenge (grades PreK–3):
• THIS BOOK IS COOL! — SCGLR will provide a series of webcasts entitled “THIS BOOK IS COOL!” Each week, two books per grade level (grades PreK–3) will be featured. The webcast for each book will include:
— A special guest sharing five reasons why this book is cool
— Six vocabulary words and a suggested activity that is connected to the book
— THIS BOOK IS COOL! activity guide with step by step instructions for each featured book

SCGLR will provide reward bracelets and brag tags for all participating children grades PreK–5.

Thank you for registering your kiddos, grades PreK–5, in the Suncoast Summer Reading Challenge, and grades PreK–3, in THIS BOOK IS COOL! Reading is the key to succeeding!

More Information


Beth Duda, director of the Suncoast Campaign for Grade-Level Reading (SCGLR), led a conversation outlining the Suncoast Summer Reading Challenge [#SummerRC2019] as part of the second installment of the nationwide GLR Campaign Learning Conversation series.

Grab a notepad, and watch the 50-minute webinar to learn how you can upload the Summer Reading Challenge into your #GLReading community or view the PowerPoint presentation.


The 2019 Suncoast Summer Reading Challenge Blast Off was an inspiring and motivational training event for the summer providers working with SCGLR. More than 300 individuals experienced outstanding educators presenting replicable lessons designed to inspire team building and a love of learning.

During Summer 2019, to avoid the “summer slide,” SCGLR engaged our four-county region and partnered with 97 summer camp providers and summer learning academies to encourage a love for reading.


Why? Because nationwide, children from asset-limited families can lose an average of 2 to 2.5 months of reading skills each summer!

  • In total, 8,709 children participated–a 60% increase over 2018
  • Of 8,709 kids, 6,876 read six or more books–a 40% increase over 2018

How many books did 8,709 kids actually read this summer?

Drum roll please…..

  • 198,570 Books–a 57% increase over 2018!

In partnership with the public school systems, iReady scores will be used to determine the amount of summer gains or losses in reading for those who participated through a Suncoast Summer Book Challenge site.

While it’s important that the data from the test scores in October show an upward trend, it’s worthwhile to note the valuable impact of connections made, of relationships built, and of memories created during the reading challenge. For example, with the extraordinary attention to detail at Glenallen Elementary’s Summer program, it’s easy to imagine how positive experiences with reading, like below, can influence a ♥ of learning.

As we move into the 2019/20 school year, it will be fun to observe how the new connections and strengthened relationships positively impact our children.

The Suncoast Summer Reading Challenge is implemented by SCGLR and promoted through local summer camps and businesses to encourage children to read, reducing the “summer slide.” Learn the ins and outs and everything in between about the 2019 Suncoast Summer Reading Challenge, and view sites from 2018 that had zero learning loss or experienced reading gains through the challenge.

View the Suncoast Summer Reading Challenge 2018 Results.