Reading Is Fundamental and Macy’s released the results of a new survey on Wednesday that disclosed that only 17 percent of parents view reading as a top summer priority for their children, although existing research indicates the importance of reading in preventing children from losing literacy skills during the months away from school. A full 60 percent of respondents to the new survey disagreed with that finding, indicating that they do not believe their children lose literacy skills due to a lack of summer reading. Conducted online in April, the survey, conducted by Harris Interactive, polled 1,000 parents nationwide with children ages 5–11. Survey results also revealed that kids devote nearly three times the number of hours to watching TV or playing video games during the summer than they do to reading.

The release of the survey results coincides with RIF and Macy’s launch of the 11th annual Be Book Smart Campaign to support children’s literacy. From June 18–July 13, Macy’s customers are invited to donate $3 at any in-store register; 100 percent of the proceeds will be given to RIF to provide books for children. In return, customers will receive $10 off a purchase of $30 or more.

To celebrate the start of this year’s Be Book Smart initiative, select Macy’s locations across the country will host reading circles featuring storytelling and photo ops with familiar book characters. Customers can also help spread word about the campaign by entering the Be Book Smart Summer Instagram photo contest, in which one participant will be selected each week of the campaign to receive a $500 Macy’s gift card. Additional information is available online.

“Thanks to our partnership with Macy’s, we are bringing more books to children who need them most and starting them on a journey to a lifelong love of reading,” said Carol Rasco, CEO of Reading Is Fundamental. Martine Reardon, Macy’s chief marketing officer, added, “We are committed to RIF’s mission of empowering children through literacy and inspiring them to embrace the joy of reading during the summer. Be Book Smart offers our customers the opportunity to give back to their local community, and thanks to the collective generosity of our customers and associates, we’ve given 10 million books to kids since 2004.”