Reading Fun in the Summertime
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Reading Fun in the Summertime

Our packing ‘n going came to a screeching halt this spring. While we admit we miss the new adventures around every corner, we’re secretly glad to be able to stay home and read a little more. That stack on the bedside table? Okay, it’s still growing because we keep finding new gems, but we’ve also unearthed some real treasures that we just hadn’t had time for until now.

The last few months of distance learning have been a challenge. If you’re lucky, your kids stayed with the program and will be fine when the new school year starts in September–whatever that looks like in your corner of the world. But if you’re typical, well, let’s face it. The last few months have been a roller coaster, but in this case, it was more scary than fun. So how do you make sure your kids will be ready for school in the fall? The best way is to just keep them reading. Fortunately, we have some great suggestions for summer reading programs that will give them just a bit more of an incentive:

Public Library:

We love the public 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. As states open up, libraries are too, even if for the moment they’re only doing curbside pick up and drop off.

Don’t forget to look for Pack-n-Go Girls books, ebooks, and audio books at your library. If your library hasn’t discovered Pack-n-Go yet, they’ll appreciate the nudge from you to add the series to their collection. (So will we!)

Reading Rewards:

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, but with lots of added support for teachers and parents.

Pizza Hut Book It!

Track and reward the reading your kids do for June, July and August in Pizza Hut’s Book It! digital dashboard. When they meet their monthly reading goal, they’ll receive a free Personal Pan Pizza from Pizza Hut. Pizza Hut also is sharing fun activities and book recommendations each week to keep the fun going throughout the summer.

Barnes & Noble:

With Barnes & Noble’s summer reading program, kids need to read at least eight books and record them in a reading journal along with their favorite part of each book. Their reward is a free book from a predetermined list at a Barnes & Noble store.

Scholastic Reading Program:

The Scholastic Reading Program has been revamped for 2020. Kids will now go to scholastic.com/homebase to create their account. Instead of logging reading minutes, kids will now be encouraged to track their Reading Streaks. A Reading Streak is the number of days in a row that a student checks in. If they skip a day, it starts over. The really cool thing? For every two days in a row kids track their reading streaks, Scholastic will donate six books to kids in areas with limited or no access to books. Nice!

Books-a-Million Summer Reading Adventure

Who doesn’t love Captain Underpants and Dog Man? This summer, Books-A-Million teams up with author Dav Pilkey for a summer reading adventure. Kids can choose four books from the Summer Reading Adventure section either in the store or online. Then they write about the books in the Summer Reading Adventure Log Book. By showing their completed log to a Books-A-Million employee, they receive a free Dog Man baseball cap.

Chuck E. Cheese:

Reading earns kids free tokens at Chuck E. Cheese every time they read. Just print out the bookmarks, which are each worth ten free tokens and bring it in to claim your free tokens.

Half Price Books:

Half Price Books reading program asks kids to read fifteen minutes a day and keep a reading log. After reading 300 minutes, kids can take their log into a Half Price store and get $5.00 in credit.

Amazon:

If you have a Kindle, Amazon always has a long list of free books. You don’t need to keep a list or write a report. You only need to hit the download button. But you knew that already, didn’t you?

Pack-n-Go Girls

As always, you can take your kids on a reading adventure around the world with Pack-n-Go Girls. No masks or social distancing required–and they’re MUCH cheaper than a plane ticket!

If you haven’t discovered the audio books, you’re going to love how Kae Denino brings the characters alive. Mystery of the Ballerina Ghost, Mystery of the Secret Room, Mystery at the Christmas Market, Mystery of the Troubled Toucan, Mystery of the Min Min Lights, and Mystery of the Thief in the Night are all available and are Whispersynced to the ebook version. It’s a great way for reluctant readers to build their skills without the stress of decoding every word.

Whatever you do, we hope you–and your kids–have a fun summer of turning pages and discovering new worlds.