Over the weekend, I was working to put together a list of fun summer reading programs and freebies for the students at my schools. Suddenly, I realized there are probably a lot more people out there who would like this information. There are even programs for teens and adults, with many prizes and giveaways to be had.
According to recent research cited in the Journal of Education for Students Placed at Risk, kids who have access to books during the summer avoid a drastic loss in reading skills. You probably already knew that, so read on for a list of my favorite free summer reading programs to keep kids (and teens and adults) reading!
Public Library Summer Reading Programs
The first place to check is your local library. In my area, the program will be an online summer reading program hosted on Beanstack , which is an online reading challenge program and app. When kids complete their reading challenge, they will get a whole boatload of prizes. Usually, the prizes include a free book, a free ticket to an NBA game, a ticket to our state fair, and a coupon for our local amusement park. When my boys participated, they scored other prizes as well, such as a scooter, a sleeping bag, a mini-stereo, and a remote-controlled speedboat. It was not difficult at all to get them motivated to read! The library in your area may be doing something different, so check with your local library for details. Our library will post more details and have everything ready on July 1st.
Teens and Adults Can Score Prizes Too
Many public libraries also offer reading programs for teens and adults. The teens usually have some type of reading log as well and prizes selected with teens in mind. For adults, the programs vary. One year, I played Book Bingo all summer, and filled in boxes for different literature genres on a bingo sheet. It was fun because it forced me to read books I wouldn’t have chosen otherwise. Poetry? Biographies? I read them all just to fill up my sheet, and I ended up with the grand prize! It was a gift card for dinner at a local restaurant and two tickets to the local movie theater. Score! My husband and I had a terrific date night.
I’m almost embarrassed to admit this, but I won again last summer. The activity was writing short book reviews, and the prize was a Kindle Fire 7.
It seems a bit unfair, since I am a school librarian, and I read a lot of books. What could be better? I get to earn prizes for doing what I love. However, I think I’ll give someone else a chance this year.
Amazon Books Retail Stores
If there is an Amazon Books Retail Store near where you live, you might be interested in their Summer Reading Challenge. Kids read eight books and keep track of the titles. When eight books have been read, bring the list into the store and choose a free book. Titles of the free books are shown on the page I linked to. The challenge goes until September 10, 2019.
Barnes and Noble
Another opportunity for a free book awaits with the Barnes and Noble Summer Reading Program. Click on the link to get the details and a link to a summer reading journal. To earn a free book, kids read eight books and record a few details about each book in the reading journal. Bring the completed reading journal into any Barnes and Noble store in between July 1 and August 31, 2020. The book selection may be found on the website linked above.
Books-a-Million Summer Reading Adventure
Is there someone in your household who is a big fan of the Dog Man or Captain Underpants books? Exciting news! Dav Pilkey, the author of the series, is the Summer Ambassador for the Summer Reading Adventure at Books-a-Million. To earn a free Dog Man logo baseball cap, kids just need to read at least four books from the store’s Summer Reading adventure section. The book list features excellent titles that would make great additions to any kid’s home library collection.
Half Price Books
At Half Price Books, kids can earn rewards by keeping a reading journal and logging minutes read. To get the details, click here. The theme this summer is Feed Your Brain.
Pizza Hut Summer Reading Program
If you are a fan of the Pizza Hut Book It reading rewards program, this might be of interest to you. Emails are sent out with weekly reading activities for kids. To sign up, visit the Pizza Hut site.
Scholastic Summer Reading Challenge
Schools and individuals may sign up for the free Scholastic Summer Read-A-Palooza. Parents can help their kids sign up to participate independently. As kids read and log their minutes online, they can access digital rewards. Other rewards include book excerpts and videos. Kids may enter reading minutes until September 4th, 2020.
Sync Summer Audiobook Program for Teens
Audiobooks count as reading, so keep this fun program in mind if you have teens in your family. Register online to access the audiobooks through Sora, the student reading app from OverDrive. New free titles are posted each week throughout the summer.
What is Your Best Strategy to Encourage Kids to Read During the Summer?
Have you gotten some good summer reading program ideas from today’s post? If you wish to choose just one summer reading program to get involved in, it seems to me that the public library offers the biggest return on investment of your time, at least in my area. Many of you may have your own favorite summer reading strategies to share. I’d love to learn about them! Getting kids into reading books is one of my greatest joys. If you would like free resources for readers, such as some free printable shelf labels for popular children’s books, please consider subscribing.
Have a wonderful week and happy summer reading!