Jim Thorpe Area students are reading around the world this summer.

The Jim Thorpe Area PTA and school district recently challenged over 1,100 kindergarten through seventh graders at Penn Kidder and L.B. Morris elementary schools to read at least 15 minutes every day and track their progress on the Scholastic Summer Challenge website.

The goal is to read 800,000 minutes over the summer break.

Sara Mass, a second-grade teacher at Penn Kidder Elementary, explained the reason for the challenge was to promote students reading during the summer.

"We feel it's important for students to read over the summer," she said, adding that research shows that if students don't read on summer break, they lose some of the information they learned during the school year.

As of June 11, the school district ranked 43rd out of all schools participating in the summer challenge and the Jim Thorpe students logged over 251,000 minutes since the challenge started on May 1.

In addition to the district challenge, the minutes the students log will go toward the Scholastic Summer Challenge total.

The goal is to beat last year's record of 64,286,479 minutes read by students around the world. So far, schools are well on their way to beating that total with 42,286,479 minutes logged to date.

The top 20 schools with the most minutes logged will be featured in the 2013 Scholastic Book of World Records.

To help Jim Thorpe students in their quest to read daily over the summer months, each school's library will be open Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10 a.m. to noon.

For more information on the Scholastic Summer Challenge or to see how Jim Thorpe is doing, visit www.scholastic.com/summer. Search "Jim Thorpe" on the Minute Map to find up to date totals.