Summer Reading Programs

I used to love participating in the local library summer reading program as a kid and now I'm so excited that my kids get to have the same experience.   Especially since Jack is a new reader, I'd like to encourage him to keep reading this summer and not "lose" any of his reading skills before he starts first grade this fall.

I've been searching for different programs to choose from since it seems that many bookstores also get in on the action these days.  The following is a list of programs that I've found out there - hopefully one of them fits with your family!

Barnes and Noble - This one is aimed towards kids in the first through sixth grades.  All you need to do is download the reading journal on their website and record eight books that your child reads this summer.  In return, your child can choose a free book from a predetermined list aimed at their grade level.  *The link takes you to the program from last year - need to keep checking back to make sure they are offering the program again in 2012.

Scholastic Summer Challenge - This program is aimed towards kids of all ages.  This program runs between May 1 and August 31.  Parents can help their child log into the website and enter their daily minutes read for a chance to win prizes and help set a world record - there's even an app to log minutes read on the go!  I highly recommend downloading the Family Participation Guide - it contains detailed instructions as well as a reading pledge, reading log and fun coloring pages.

Pottery Barn Kids - This is another program aimed at kids ages 10 and younger and runs between 5/17 and 8/22.  Visit the website to download the booklist, progress tracker and certificate of completion.  Bring your progress tracker to your local store by the end of the promotion period to receive a free book!  

Your local library - Don't forget to check out your local library's summer reading programs - most will have them.  I've linked to our local library, it looks like they have an entire summer's worth of events planned to keep kids engaged.

If all else fails, you can implement your own summer reading program!  I found several good links on Pinterest for downloadable reading trackers and more.  You could offer an incentive for minutes read or books read, perhaps a trip to the park, ice cream shop, alone time with Mom or Dad (for those families with more than one child - always a challenge to give one-on-one time!) - really the possibilities are endless.

I hope you find a program that works for you and have as much fun this summer reading as we do.  I plan to have Jack read to his new baby sister - I think she'll enjoy hearing his voice and he'll feel like a big kid.  :-)