Summer reading -- Moms love it, lots of kids hate it. It's a great way to battle summer brain drain. It's also a great way to pick a fight with your kids. Fortunately, there are many good and FREE summer reading programs that offer incentives to kids for reading during the non-school months.
One of the absolute best places to encourage summer reading is your local library. I feel so fortunate to live in a a state where libraries are so well funded and the summer reading programs in the 413 are no exception. This year's program is titled "A Universe of Stories" and is geared toward kids in grades kindergarten through 12th grade; however, preschoolers and even babies are welcome to participate. Many libraries even have adult summer reading programs so we can get in on the fun.
Registered children receive a reading log where parents sign off confirming that the child has read a certain number of minutes per day. (Reading to your child also counts). Then the kids are eligible for certificates, small rewards, and prizes throughout the summer. The libraries also offer many enriching activities throughout the summer including animal visits, performances, crafts, scavenger hunts, game nights, story times, and more.
- You can find a link to your local library here. Then contact the children's department for summer reading program registration. The program begins the last week of June and runs through early August.
- Barnes and Noble stores' summer reading program has already begun. Children in grades 1-6 need to fill out this reading journal answering some questions about 8 books they've read. In August, they can redeem the journal for one FREE book from the summer reading list (they have some really great picks this year!).
- Scholastic's online Read-a-Palooza Summer Reading Challenge has also begun. Although kids do not receive tangible prizes (the prizes are all digital), they can register and log their reading minutes to compete with other schools across the country and work collectively to help get books donated to kids in need. I really appreciate that this site has great reading list suggestions for all ages.
- Chuck E Cheese's Reading Rewards Calendar may be completed at any time of the year. Read 10 books, get free 10 game tokens. (This link offers a bunch of CEC reward calendars for all kinds of habits you'd like to instill in the kiddos).
- TD Bank is offering a $10 deposit into a new or existing Young Savers Account for readers in grades K-5. Just fill out this reading log confirming 10 books were read. Through August 31.
- I adore The Measured Mom's Summer Reading Challenge: Read in 100 Places checklist. You can print out and offer incentives with your own prizes.
Good Luck with encouraging the summer reading. We'll see you at the library!
*Photograph by Live, Laugh, Photograph Studios (Chicopee, MA)