School is out for the summer! Whether you’re excited or feeling overwhelmed at the thought of entertaining your kids for two long months, it is very important to keep reading on the radar so they don’t start back in the fall having lost progress. Teachers report an average of three months progress lost when kids don’t keep up reading during the summer. Thankfully there are several options for summer reading programs to keep both you and your children motivated!
2015 Summer Reading Programs
- Barnes & Noble’s Summer Reading Program is straightforward and easy. Download their Reading Journal, record 8 books between May 19-September 7, 2015, bring it in to your local Barnes & Noble location and your child receives a free book! The free book options are ones your kids can get excited about… Pinkalicious, Lego DC Comics™ Super Heroes, Cupcake Diaries and The Mouse and the Motorcycle are just a few cool prize options.
- Scholastic Summer Reading Challenge. Scholastic’s online reading challenge is a “free online program designed to motivate and excite your kids around reading books this summer. Kids can log the minutes they spend reading, earn virtual rewards and prizes, and enter sweepstakes.” In the parent resource center for the challenge, you’ll find a pledge sheet for kids, activities, certificates and more. The program runs May 4-September 4, 2015.
- Programs through your local library. Almost all local libraries have reading programs to encourage kids to keep their reading skills sharp over the summer months. Check with your local branch to see what the details are of their specific program.
- Pizza Hut “Book It” Program. Program details will be announced June 1, 2015, but usually the program involves kids tracking their reading to earn prizes. There are also extra challenges to encourage participation and engagement.
- Chuck E. Cheese Reading Rewards. Chuck E. Cheese offers a variety of rewards calendars that encourage good behavior in kids: a Table Manners calendar, Great Behavior Calendar, Clean Room Calendar and a Reading Rewards Calendar. If your child can read for two weeks, they can earn ten free tokens.
- Summer Reading BINGO. We offer a Summer Reading BINGO game perfect for getting kids to read in fun ways… with the family pet, in their swimsuit, while eating a bowl of ice cream and more. Set prizes that best suit your child and this can be a fun, re-usable program throughout your summer.
- Create Your Own! Every child is motivated by something different. Don’t be afraid to design a program that works best for your family. Most reading challenges require 8-10 books to be completed; so that is a good number to start with. Customize the prizes and rewards to fit your child’s needs.
Fun Summer Reading Program Facts
Summer reading programs began in the 1890s as a way to encourage school children, particularly those in urban areas and not needed for farm work, to read during their summer vacation, use the library and develop the habit of reading. Research conducted by the National Center for Educational Statistics found that in 1994, 95% of public libraries offered summer reading programs for children. (Source) We’re willing to bet that number has jumped to almost 100% today!
The great news is that your child can participate in more than one program at once, and earn multiple rewards for all the hours they spent with their nose in a book. Leave a comment and share any additional programs you know about.