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Battle summer slump with two programs: Summer Sparks and SYNC

Looking for a way to beat the summer reading slump?  Check out these two programs to help kids of all ages keep their reading going all summer long.

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1. Summer Sparks

Classroom teachers and librarians are invited to join our friends Buncee and Capstone Publishing in their first Summer Sparks Reading Contest designed to encourage kids to read, write and create all summer long and to facilitate access to great reads.

To participate in Summer Sparks, students create reading journals on Buncee. Buncee will offer summer access to their creation tool to participating schools and Capstone will offer free access to the Capstone Interactive digital library and to their K-6 research databases–PebbleGo and PebbleGo Next.

The three schools with the most student-created Buncee reading journals could win year-long subscriptions to PebbleGo and Buncee and a Cantata Learning’s new Library Skills book set by Shannon Miller, with music arranged and produced by Emily Arrow.  There’s an ice cream party to top off the fun!

The partners behind the plan share their goals for this new summer program.

From Eric Fitzgerald, VP of Sales for Capstone:

Capstone is so pleased to work on behalf of our schools and students with our friends at Buncee for summer reading. Pairing our accessible digital content with the creation tools from Buncee makes for fun and engaging learning for kids and family’s this summer. Capstone and Buncee are going to share a Summer Spark prompt every week to inspire learning, research experiences, writing and creativity. Schools that already have PebbleGO and Capstone Interactive will love the activities each week, and because we know how important reading over the summer is, we are excited to open up special access for those that don’t yet have our digital content for this project. We hope all of you join us as we spark summer fun and memories too.

From Buncee CEO and Founder, Marie Arturi:

We are thrilled to partner with such a wonderful publisher like Capstone to play a role in encouraging reading at any time but even more so in the summer. We’re are also delighted that the students will engage with what they are reading and share their creativity in Buncee journals all summer long. For this project, we are excited to offer free Buncee accounts for all students throughout the summer. We can’t wait to celebrate reading with all of you and see what is created during Summer Sparks.

Educators can start the ball rolling by using this form to register their school for Summer Sparks before June 30th.  You’ll receive a Buncee coupon code and links for Capstone access. You’ll want to share this link with students.

Winners will be announced on September 14th!


SYNC is a free summer audiobook program for teens 13 and older. Now in its eighth season, and already underway, the program will release two free audiobook MP3s as themed pairings each Thursday through August 16.  Pairings often connect classic with popular new titles.

A collaboration between audiobook publishers and AudioFile Magazine, the SYNC download program delivers its titles in MP3 format through the OverDrive app.  Each SYNC audiobook is available for download for a period of 7 days.

SYNC offers librarians and educators a press release to send to local media and interested groups and a fully packed Tool Kit of promotional materials to help launch the program, including a variety of bookmarks, posters, sound clips, and banners.

The program encourages teen readers to text syncya to 25827 to receive text alerts about all the featured titles and to sign up for its newsletter to receive title alerts.  Follow SYNC updates and news on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

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And a bonus for you: Don’t miss Mary Anne Scheuer’s recent edWeb webinar, Preventing the Summer Slide with Audiobooks.  Mary Anne is a teacher librarian at the Berkeley (CA) USD, as well as an expert on the value of audiobooks in building literacy.


WPA Poster Collection (Library of Congress). May 25 1939.

Of course, don’t forget to encourage parents and kiddos to connect with our dearest friends at the public library to keep reading going all summer with !

And you may also be interested in:

Scholastic’s Summer Reading Challenge

Barnes & Noble’s Summer Reading Program for Kids


Joyce Valenza About Joyce Valenza

Joyce is an Assistant Professor of Teaching at Rutgers University School of Information and Communication, a technology writer, speaker, blogger and learner. Follow her on Twitter: @joycevalenza

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