Summer Reading Programs: Children Earn Free Stuff

Summer Reading Programs: Children Earn Free Stuff

Summertime and the living is easy-easy to earn freebies for completing minutes in various summer reading programs. I was paging through Redbook Magazine's June issue and it  listed Pottery Barn, Barnes and Noble, and Showcase Cinemas as just some of the businesses offering incentives to young readers.

I researched a little further and came up with a few others.   More and more businesses are getting into the game and offering incentives to young readers.  It's something parents will appreciate.

  • Pottery Barn Kids Summer Reading Challenge - Now through August 26th- read 14 award winning books from their list provided and receive a free book.  This site has early literacy tips, a progress tracker poster, and a reward certificate.
  • Barnes and Noble "Imagination's Destination"  Summer Reading -  Read any 8 books and record them on a Reading Journal provided on-line.  Bring the completed journal to the store to select a free book from their list.  The webpage has colorful pictures of suggested books by grade level and a downloadable teacher's kit.  (Ambitious parents can choose to modify it or not)
  • Showcase Theaters Bookworm Wednesdays - Children read a book each week, print out and fill in a book report (downloadable on their site), bring the book report to participating theaters for a free movie ticket.  July 10th through August 7th, Wednesdays at 10:00am.
  • Chuck E. Cheese - When your child reads everyday for two weeks in a row, you can take the Chuck E. Cheese's Reading Calendar in and receive 10 Free Tokens.
  • TD Bank-  When children read ten books and complete a reading form, they receive $10 in a new or existing Young Savers Bank account.
  • Half Price Books- During June and July, kids are asked to read at least 15 minutes a day. When they have  read 300 minutes, they turn in their reading log and earn $5 in Half Price Books Bookworm bucks.

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Libraries first introduced Summer Reading Programs (SRPs) in the 1890s to prompt children to increase their visits to the library, to encourage them to keep reading throughout the summer and to build strong reading habits. (Summer Reading Programs, 2011)

 

Today nearly all libraries have a summer reading program incorporating a theme, events,  and incentives.  School districts and individual schools are starting to implement summer reading requirements or host summer reading challenges with prizes.  With more businesses like the ones above getting involved, young readers can earn even more free items for their efforts.

Chicago Public Library Summer Learning Program Focuses on STEAM

The Chicago Public Library has gone a step further this year, calling their program Summer Learning Challenge.  The theme is Rahm's Readers- Full STEAM Ahead.  Notice- STEAM is the acronym for Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics.  Not only will participants be encouraged to read books for fun, but they will  have access to  engineering and science programs, use on-line science resources, and create art and design challenges.

For the first time, the Museum of Science and Industry will be partnering with the Chicago Public Library.  I had a preview of this information from Nicole Kowrach, the Director of Teaching and Learning at MSI when I interviewed her for a previous post.  Other partners include Chicago Public Schools, Chicago Park District, Art Institute of Chicago, Goodman Theater, and the National Summer Learning Association.

The program runs June 17-August10.  Last year, 60,000 young people read 1.5 million books and the library continues to break records with its summer programs.  For more information, contact your neighborhood library or call Children and Young Adult Services at  (312) 747-4780.

Not a Chicago resident? Check your own local library to join its summer reading program.

Parents keep in mind as you navigate the summer reading programs, whether they be voluntary or imposed (school requirement), free choice and self-selection are the most important factors to reading motivation.  A more motivated reader, in turn reads even more and their comprehension and vocabulary will soar.
IF YOU LIKED THIS, YOU MAY ALSO LIKE MY PREVIOUS POST ABOUT  "READING GAMES."

Coming in June, tips for keeping up skills over the summer. Be sure to subscribe now.

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