The Reading Marathon with Jessica and Kasper

Hi! My name is Jessica, and I am the mom of a fun-loving 6 year old boy who enjoys watching PBS Kids and KUED as much as I do. We had a great time at last year’s KUED Kids Annual Reading Marathon Kickoff event and I want to share our experience with you.

The Kickoff

The 2017 KUED Kids Reading Marathon Kickoff was such a hit with my son, Kasper. Several local organizations partnered with KUED to provide various activity centers for all of the kids to enjoy.  Most of the activities were STEM centered, interactive, engaging and fun! Kasper absolutely loved participating in all of the action that was going on! He was thrilled when he realized that he could spell out his name with the elements in the periodic table, which he proudly made into a magnet to take home to display on our refrigerator. He had a blast crafting his own microphone (that we still have to this day) at KUER’s “Rookie Reporter” booth, and building his own bird’s nest with Tracy Aviary.

We got to spend time relaxing, cuddling, and reading to the Intermountain Therapy Animals, which turned out to be one of my favorite parts of the day. There were also several PBS Kids characters wandering around, and cardboard cutouts distributed throughout the library for children that made great photo ops. Because there were many different organizations involved, with many activity options to choose from, we never had to wait for very long to participate in any of them. I just wish that we had more time to visit all of the activities that were taking place!  

The Salt Lake City Library is such a great venue and had so much open space to accommodate everyone, without feeling too busy and chaotic, despite how popular the event was.  We had such a good time that we ended up staying for the entire 3 hours of the party!

The Reading Challenge

To participate in the actual reading challenge each child was required to read for 20 minutes every day during the month of November. Kasper decided that he wanted to keep his reading log in special place on his night stand so that he could keep track of his own reading minutes after we did our nightly reading together. He thought that it was very fun (and easy since he has to read every day for homework anyway), and he found it motivating to be able to log his own minutes. He would often challenge himself to read above and beyond the 20 minute daily requirement! Kids love incentives and he was excited to know that he would receive his “Adventure Pass” at the end of the month if he completed his goals.

The Highly-Anticipated Adventure Pass

It was a great day when Kasper finally received his KUED Kids Adventure Pass! We were able to print it out at home, which was exciting for him and convenient for me! The Adventure Pass offered free admission, during the month of January, to destinations such as Red Butte Garden, Utah’s Hogle Zoo, The Natural History Museum, and more. It also doubled as an activity booklet for the child to complete while out on their adventures.

There were so many fun, free destinations that we were able to visit that we don’t normally get to see on a regular basis, or had never been to before.  We had the opportunity to go to The Leonardo to see the Flight exhibit, which turned out to be a main highlight of our adventuring, and a talking point for the rest of the year. We also went to the Clark Planetarium to see a free movie, the Discovery Gateway Children’s museum, and Kasper even got to pick up a free book from the library for completing the challenge. It was an extremely enriching process for both Kasper and myself, which allowed us to have experiences that we may otherwise not have had.