IDEA’s IditaREAD challenge encourages reading for personal enjoyment of all age levels. You, the parent, decide if pages read aloud by someone else can count toward the finish line for some or all of your readers. For example, you may want to require ages 7+ to read to themselves, whereas you could combine independent reading and reading aloud with your little ones. We believe, “reading” a picture book is a great experience for emergent readers too. Make sure to decide ahead of time whether or not, or how, you will count pages with pictures. Perhaps your emergent reader will describe the pictures!

Need some goal-setting inspiration? Here are a few suggestions collected from IDEA parents.


Some parents choose to offer all read-aloud time for the entire race.
Picture books are also a great idea. Ask your pre-reader to try to explain what they think is happening in the story.
Others encourage their children to make up their own book with illustrations and read it!


For those just starting to read beginner words, some parents have a child sound out one word and then read the rest to their child!
Some parents select books with 2-3 words per page to make the goal challenging but achievable.
Whatever you do decide, as each child is different, is going to average around 100 miles per day if you will compete with a musher.
We suggest you choose a rookie!  IDEA’s race runs for 22 days (several days after the last musher or Red Lantern winner finishes the race).


Many parents have shared that their children can’t wait for IditaREAD, because their learners get credit for reading their assigned work!
Others share it’s the time when schoolwork gets done on time every day, because they have to finish their schoolwork before they can read what they chose to read for the race!
Other readers will complete the race the day it begins and keep reading while others are happy to have completed the race and may or may not use the remaining race time to focus on Iditarod/Alaska-themed studies or book reports.

Finding what your child likes best is key. The main goals are to have fun, establish a love of reading and to enjoy the Iditarod race!

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