Mark Cuban is getting behind an effort to encourage students to keep reading over the summer.

The competition, called Level Up, is the first National K12 Summer Reading Challenge. It was created by Beenstack in collaboration with Thorndike Press and the Preston Hollow neighbor.

Level Up is meant to prevent the “summer and COVID slide” simply by reading, and this summer, the competition is focusing on large print books, which improve reading speed, increase reading comprehension and are effective with readers who are below their grade level.

“Two thirds of the income-based achievement gap are attributed to summer learning loss by the start of high school,” the Level Up website says. “This challenge has now been compounded by COVID learning loss as our schools are disrupted by the pandemic. It’s time to Level Up.”

Cuban is providing cash prizes to winners of Level Up, the National K12 Summer 2021 Reading Challenge. First place receives $5,000, second place receives $2,500, and the four runner ups receive $2,500.

Winners will also get large print books supplied by Thorndike Press — $1,000 worth to the grand prize winner, $500 to second place and $250 to the runner ups.

In addition, the school or district that wins first place will have a live virtual meeting with one of Thorndike’s award-winning authors who has published works in large print: Kimberly Brubaker Bradle, Jewell Parker Rhode, Kwame Mbalia or Meg Medin.

To enter, schools have to fill out a registration form and sign up for a subscription to Beanstack. Each minute read gets schools closer to winning.

Sign up here.

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