The Let's Read Together Challenge

Statewide education network launches “Let’s Read Together” contest during National Book Month for Pre-K – 3rd Grade learners

In Michigan, 1,000 minutes equals about two-and-a-half days of school. That’s how long young students, Pre-K through 3rd grade, are being challenged to read – or be read to – during the next two months.

The challenge, Let’s Read Together, will celebrate National Book Month and encourage a love of reading among young students across Michigan. Those who complete the challenge will be entered into a drawing to win a variety of prizes, including an appearance on the Michigan Learning Channel (MLC).

Less than one year old, MLC is a rapidly growing education network carried by all six PBS stations in Michigan. Last month alone, it reached 500,000 students, teachers and parents throughout the state.

“We all know that building literacy skills in the early years is critical to success in school and in life,” said Gillian Gainsley, program director of the Michigan Learning Channel. “We want to support educators and families, serving as a resource and a champion of reading. We think this challenge is a fun way to develop the habit of reading, both at home and at school.”

For this program, reading can be done as a group in a classroom or individually at home. Any school in the state is eligible to participate in the reading challenge. And students younger than kindergarten age are welcome to take part with the help of their parents, day-care provider or pre-school.

Students, teachers and parents can download the entry form and contest toolkit, including a fun-to-use Reading Tracker, on the Michigan Learning Channel’s website. Those who successfully complete and log 1,000 minutes of reading between Oct. 1 and Nov. 30 are eligible to submit their entry by Dec. 15.

A winning individual and classroom will be drawn from a pool of entries for each of the six public television stations that are partners with MLC. The 12 winners will be announced in January 2022.

The participating stations are Detroit and Southeast Michigan (WTVS); East Lansing (WKAR); Bay City (WDCQ); Grand Rapids (WGVU); Mt. Pleasant (WCMU) and Marquette (WNMU-TV).

Winning classrooms will receive a set of 20 books from MLC’s “Read, Write, ROAR!” television series. Individual winners will receive an internet-enabled tablet loaded with programming and apps from the award-winning “PBS KIDS” resource center

“Read, Write, ROAR!” is an English Language Arts program introduced in April by MLC for kindergarten through 3rd grade learners. The program consists of fun lessons in vocabulary-building, reading aloud, writing, reviewing informational text and other language skills. It is taught by Michigan teachers from across the state and features lessons aligned with state standards and teaching techniques based on research-supported best practices of Michigan’s Literacy Essentials.

The Michigan Learning Channel was organized and launched in January 2021 by DPTV as a statewide educational resource in response to inconsistencies in COVID-necessitated online learning. Recognizing that more homes likely have television sets than internet access, Detroit Public Television worked with other Michigan PBS stations to fund, design and launch a free instructional network available on the air, as well as via livestream or on-demand viewing at

The “Let’s Read Together” challenge is made possible through funding by AAA and is one of a number of ongoing creative offerings from MLC.

About the Michigan Learning Channel

Launched by all the state’s public television stations, the Michigan Learning Channel (MLC) delivers instructional content to students, parents and teachers, using a wide variety of media platforms, including a system of dedicated broadcast channels. It makes curriculum-aligned and teacher-tested content universally available, overcoming limitations in online access for rural and urban areas alike. The programming has been developed in consultation with leading educators and community leaders across the state. MLC was conceived and organized by Detroit Public TV. Initial funding for the Michigan Learning Channel is provided by awards totaling $3.5 million; 43% or $1.5 million of the budget is through a grant from the Michigan Department of Education supported by the Governors Education Emergency Relief (GEER) Fund Grant, part of the CARES Act. The remainder is through funding from the Michigan State Legislature. For more information, visit