Some families school year ’round, while others take a break over the summer. Either way, maintaining reading habits over the summer is a good idea. Children who are reluctant readers may enjoy participating in a structured reading program with a reward at the end; others may simply find the reward an added bonus. Avid readers may want to participate in multiple programs.
Some programs your children may enjoy include:
The Pizza Hut Book It Program has been around for many school years. Pizza Hut now has a Summer Break Reading Challenge Sweepstakes Program for students from K to 6th grade from June 15 through August 15. By reading only five books during the summer your child could win a Diary of a Wimpy Kid Fun Prize package. The website describes the challenge. Read for fun and reap a reward.
Barnes and Noble also has a Summer Reading Program. The program is designed for children from first to sixth grade. Students can earn free books by reading eight books. These books can be from the library, friends, or bought at Barnes and Noble. Students need to write about their favorite parts of the books in a Reading Journal. The Journal, when completed, can be brought to a local Barnes and Noble bookstore where a child chooses a free book from a selection of books.
The Scholastic Summer Challenge lets kids read and log minutes to earn prizes. Although the sign-up page can be confusing, the program is open to homeschoolers. Have your child create an account from the “Kids” link, then select homeschool when prompted for a school name.
Home Education Resources is hosting an online summer reading program that invites children to go beyond reading into actively DOING – creating something related to what they read. To include more reluctant readers, there is also a nature learning program – and entries are accepted for both programs from participants ages 3 to 93!
The Collaborative Summer Library Program does not offer incentives for children, but does offer numerous free resources to make a summer reading program an educational experience. In addition to recommended book lists by grade level, there is a Resources section which includes a bibliography and multi-media references for recommended titles. There are also recommendations for adult readers.
Your local library may have its own program. Here in Palm Beach County, for instance, the Dream Big – Read summer program awards children with tickets to a Jupiter Hammerheads baseball game. There are programs for children and teens.
TD Bank has a Summer Reading Program available to students 18 years of age and younger. By reading 10 books over the Summer Reading Period, May 5 through September 29, students will be eligible for a deposit of $10 into their T D Bank Young Saver bank accounts. Summer Reading Forms are downloadable from the website. The completed forms can be taken to any T D Banks branch. The website has a list of suggested books and tips to make reading more enjoyable.
You may also want to create your own Summer Program by selecting books you know your child will enjoy. Add a reading incentive for each book your child reads. You can go on a field trip, on a trip to a mall or to lunch, or on a trip to the park or beach. Any fun activity will give your child a reward for reading.
What to read?
Most programs include recommended reading lists, however, other resources can also help your child on his or her way. Two of the best lists are the Caldecott Medal winners and the Newbery Award Winners.