Take Advantage of Free 2011 Reading Programs During the Summer

In just a few short weeks, kids will be out of school for the summer (some already are).  While kids are counting down the remaining days they have left in school this academic year and can’t wait for those summer days, many parents are counting down the remaining days for a different reason.  How can they keep their kids occupied and make sure they don’t lose all of the academic strides they made during the year?  One way is to take advantage of summer reading programs.

National Programs

Barnes and Noble’s Summer Reading Program:  Kids read eight books during the summer and are then able to choose a free book from Barnes and Noble’s list when they bring in their journal form recording the books they read.  (The completed journal form can be turned in between May 24th and September 6th, 2011.)  There are 5 books to choose as the free book in 3 different categories:  1st and 2nd grade, 3rd and 4th grade, and 5th and 6th grade.  In each category, there is also one Spanish language book available.

Borders’ Double Dog Dare You Reading Program:
Kids 12 and under read 10 books, fill out the form, and return it to choose a free book.  (The form can be brought in between June 1st and September 5th, 2011.)

Scholastic Summer Challenge:  Between May 15th and June 4th, 2011, kids 15 and under can log in the minutes that they read each day to be entered to win one of three sets of 5 Klutz books.

Sylvan Bookworm Challenge:  Kids in grades K-8 sign up for free and choose books from over 7,000 available titles.  When they are done, they take a short, multiple choice quiz on the book.  Quizzes are worth 100 to 200 points, depending on the age level.  Kids can then redeem their points for a variety of prizes.  (Prizes range from 900 to 2,000 points.)

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Pizza Hut Book It Reading Program:  Kids in grades K-6 read 5 books, complete a form and mail it in to enter a sweepstakes for a prize ranging from a jump rope to a $20 Visa card.  All entries must be received by August 22nd, 2011, and the books must have been read between June 15th and August 15th, 2011.

Regional Programs

TD Bank’s Summer Reading Program:  Kids on the East Coast will want to take advantage of TD Bank’s summer reading program.  Read 10 books, complete the summer reading form, and take it in to the nearest TD Bank.  Ten dollars will be deposited in your current or brand new savings account.  (The form can be brought in between May 4th and September 30th, 2011.)

Bookworm Wednesdays:  This is another good program for those on the East Coast.  Bring in a book report to any participating Showcase or Multiplex Cinemas, and get a free ticket to a 10 a.m. Wednesday movie.  The movies are shown July 6th through August 10th.  Movies that will be shown include Over the Hedge, Bee Movie, and Kung Fu Panda.

In addition to these programs, make sure to check with your local public library for their reading program.  Each year my kids participate in our local library’s reading program.  Each week that they met the designated reading goal, they earn a free pass to a museum or a free kids’ meal at a local restaurant.  In addition, last year my son was one of the top 50 readers, and he was treated to a bowling and pizza party, free of cost to him.

Finally, also try searching the internet for reading programs in your local area beyond the library.

[Glen: Check with the school your child is attending as well.  My daughter’s old elementary used to have reading incentives in the summer where a child can earn rewards and prizes by reading a certain amount of books.]

Summer is a great time for kids to relax, play, and enjoy the freedom from school. However, it can also be a time for them to strengthen their reading skills and earn rewards through the many free reading programs available.

About Melissa

Melissa blogs at Mom's Plans about learning to live a fulfilling life on less. She has quit her day job and now blogs and writes, in addition to taking care of her three kids.

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