08 May 10 Terrific Ways to Keep Kids Reading This Summer
The school year is once again racing to an end. Kids can’t wait to have some lazy days and be done with schoolwork for a few months. The trick is how to keep those brains from atrophying on those lazy days. Summer reading programs are a perfect way to reward reading—an easy carrot instead of a stick.
When my kids were in early grade school, the school participated in Pizza Hut’s Book It! program. The kids loved it because they were rewarded with a free pizza if they read so many minutes. We were a family that would have been reading anyway, and it still added some nice incentive. For kids who might not have been so motivated, you’d be surprised how a free pizza inspires time with a book. Pizza Hut’s Book It! is celebrating its thirtieth year, so those kids who were incentivized by the program as kids are now having kids of their own receiving free pizzas. How cool is that?
As a reader, writer, mom, and now grandmother, I’m happy that the reading program incentives have grown over the years. Here’s a quick rundown for your kids for this summer.
Kids can enter individually and contribute to the number of minutes read this summer in Scholastic Summer Reading Challenge. Last summer the total hit 304,749,681 minutes, which comes to over 211,000 days of reading. Kids love feeling a part of something so big. They can earn prizes, as well. Schools can sign up and get resources too. There’s also a link for parents to download free activities and tips.
Barnes & Noble asks kids to read eight books this summer, record them in a Reading Journal., and Barnes & Noble will give the child a free book from their reading selection at the bookstores.
Sylvan’s Book Adventure runs year around, so readers can get some rewards for reading even in January. Kids read books, take short quizzes, and earn prizes.
Showcase Cinemas Bookworm Wednesday runs from July 8-29. All a child has to do is read a book and write a book report. If they take the report to a Showcase Cinema on one of the Wednesdays, it covers the admission ticket to the show.
Pottery Barn Kids Reading Program offers two reading lists of quality books. When kids read all the books on a Pottery Barn book list, they receive a free book.
Half Price Books has the most generous incentive program. The book chain asks kids to read fifteen minutes a day through June and July and keep a reading log. When they reach 300 minutes, they take the log in to Half Price Books and receive a $20 Half Price Books gift card.
Another creative option is to create your own reading program with your own incentives at Reading Rewards. Kids can log the books they’re reading, take quizzes, and even write reviews. It’s like Goodreads for kids.
If you have a Kindle, Amazon always has a long list of free books. Kids don’t need to keep a list or write a report. They only need to hit the download button. But you knew that already, didn’t you?
And, of course, check out your local library. They all have a summer reading program to get kids in the library and get them reading. If you’re new to your area, here’s a great site to find the closest library to you. ~Janelle