Sometimes we could all use a little incentive. Luckily, there are a lot of summer reading programs that provide one for children. I’m talking, fill in a reading journal or write a short book report and receive prizes of one sort or another. Know of a program that isn’t listed? Please let me know in the comments section and I’ll update the list.
First stop: your school, homeschool co-op, local public library and DOD-MWR Library Installation, and place of worship.
Next stop: one of the local businesses in the list below
Book Stores and Suppliers:
- Scholastic – help set a new world record with their Reading Under the Stars program!!! They have book lists for different reading abilities, a timer app you can download to keep track of reading time, and weekly challenges and rewards. Runs from 5/5 to 9/5.
- Sylvan’s Book Adventure – read books from their online book lists, go to the website for quizzes on the books to earn point to earn prizes ranging from temporary tattoos and candy to a 3-month Highlights subscription, books, and CDs. Runs year-round.
- local, independent bookstores – they don’t all have programs, but many do, and it’s worth calling, asking, or checking out their website
- Barnes and Noble – my personal favorite, because you can keep going back and getting more prizes. Pick up their journal in a store or print from their website, read 8 books, and choose from a list of free books. They have books in different age groups, and you simply go to the kids section of the store, choose one from the summer reading program rack, take it to the counter and pay no money. As I said, the great thing is they have encouraged me in past years to have my kids keep reading, and to bring back as many journals as my kids will complete, and keep getting free books. If you have an early reader, they can still participate even though they aren’t in K yet. Runs through 9/2.
- Books A Million – Read 6 books on their list of books, return the journal, and get a free Theodore Boone Pencil Case and Pencil (the main character in John Grisham’s kid books). Runs through 8/16, while supplies last.
- Half Price Books – Read 300 minutes in each of June and July and receive $5 gift cards for each month. The child will also be entered in a drawing for a $20 gift card. Runs through 7/31.
- Tyndale Media Center – read 5 Christian-centric books from their lists and write 5 reviews on sites like Amazon or Barnes and Noble, and you can choose a free book to receive in the mail.
- TD Bank – Grades K-5, read 10 books, return the journal, and they will reward you with $10 in a new or existing Young Saver account. Runs through 8/31.
- CapCom Federal Credit Union – Kids up to 12th Grade can earn $3 per book read, up to 5 books. They run the program again in the winter. In order to receive the money, children must submit (as age appropriate by their standards) a picture or short summary of the book. Must be a CapCom Member to participate. Runs through 9/15.
- Pottery Barn Kids – Kids under 10 who read all the books on one of their reading lists get a free book. Runs through 6/17. You can also go meet the characters of PBS’ SuperWhy on special event days.
- American Girl – Less of a reward program than a source of ideas, quizzes, in-store events, and more. Runs through 8/26.
- HEB H.E. Buddy Summer Reading Club – Read 10 books, mail in the form, and receive prizes (it looks like you may receive a t-shirt). There is no fine print on the form requiring you to live near one of their grocery stores. Runs through 10/1.
- Chuck E. Cheese – Earn 10 Chuck E. Cheese tokens by filling in one of their charts, including a reading chart that requires reading each day for two weeks. Ongoing.
- Pizza Hut’s Book It Program – read 5 books and complete an Instagram scavenger hunt to earn chances to win prizes. There are lots of printable activities sorted by title of picture book or chapter book. Runs through 8/15.
- Showcase Cinemas – read a book, write a report on their form, and bring to a cinema for free admission to special Wednesday showings of kid-centric movies. Siblings under 6 and parents may accompany the reader for free. Runs through 8/13.