Summer reading programs are a great incentive to keep kids reading during the Summer months. Students who read over the summer break tend to avoid the “Summer Slide”, or Summer learning loss. Students should be reading at least 10-20 minutes each day, and adults should be reading to non-readers for the same amount of time (or more!).
The good news is that kids tend to respond well to incentives, so reluctant readers may be willing to read to earn rewards gift cards, free food, prizes, and more! Most of the programs require a similar amount of reading, so they can qualify for multiple program rewards. Check out our list of Summer Reading Programs below!
This list will be updated in April 2020, but most of the programs are annual.
Download and print a Barnes and Noble Summer Reading Program Reading Journal from the website for each child in grades 1-6. Kids are encouraged to read any 8 books and fill out their Reading Journals about each book.
Once completed, bring the journals to any B&N store between August 1-31, 2019. Kids can choose a FREE reading adventure from the book list featured on the back of the journal.
Half Price Books rewards kids 14 and under for reading 300 minutes per month in June and July. Grown-ups may read out loud for kids who are still learning to read. Turn in a completed Feed Your Brain Reading Log (found on the website) to a local store and earn Bookworm Bucks.
Teens can read a book from the program list, write a review and earn Bookworm Bucks.
Rusty Bucket Bucketeer Bookworms program has partnered with LEGOLAND Discovery Center to encourage elementary school students in grades K-6 to read. Families can now pick up a special LEGOLAND Discovery Center Bookmark Tracker at any Rusty Bucket Ohio location and start reading.
Young readers track their books on the back of the bookmark, and when they reach 15 books, they will receive a $10 off coupon to LEGOLAND at Easton Town Center. After every five books read, kids also receive a complimentary kid’s meal with an adult entrée purchase (dine-in only). Note: This program runs year round!
Chuck E. Cheese offers reward calendars and behavior charts to encourage kids to reach specific goals, Track progress on these printable incentive charts by marking the days off with a pen or sticker as your kids accomplish their goals. Bring in a completed calendar or behavior chart to Chuck E. Cheese’s and receive 10 free play points or tokens as a reward.
Among many options, they offer a Reading Rewards Calendar (English and Spanish).
The Scholastic Read-a-Palooza Summer Reading Challenge is a free program to help prevent the effects of the summer slide—the learning losses that can occur during the summer months.
Over the course of 18 weeks, kids can enter their summer reading minutes online, unlocking digital rewards as they complete weekly reading challenges; and access book excerpts, videos, and other summer-exclusive content. Kids can enter minutes from Monday, May 6 until Friday, September 6. Printable resources such at book lists, reading pledges, and minute trackers are available online.
Once participating kids reach 25, then 50 and then 100 million minutes collectively read in the Summer Reading Challenge, Scholastic will donate a minimum of 200,000 books to kids in need across the United States! The participants are at over 4 million minutes at the time of publishing.
Library Reading Programs
The Summer Reading Challenge runs from June 1 – August 3 to encourage people of all ages to read, from babies to adults to earn prizes! Head to the Main Library for the Summer Reading Challenge Kickoff on Saturday, June 1 from 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. You’ll enjoy free family fun with activities, refreshments and music from the Jim Gill
Youth through age 18 can earn prizes for reading a select amount of hours for the Delaware County Library Summer Reading Club. There will be tons of special events at the libraries as well. Check the link for details and programming.
The 2019 Summer Reading Program will begin Monday June 3rd, with the theme: ‘A Universe of Stories’. Earn prizes for reading! Details tba.
Join the Read and Blast Off! program with the Westerville Public Library. Register and log your progress between June 1 and August 3, 2019.
- Ages 0-17: Set your reading goal, then challenge yourself to meet it. Just for signing up, teens receive a coupon for a cookie/chips. (Available at the table in the children’s area beginning June 1.). Meet your goal = earn a book (beginning June 8)
- Ages 18+: Read books, listen to audiobooks or read aloud to others. Just for signing up, receive a free coupon for scoop of Whit’s Frozen Custard. (Available on the second floor beginning June 1. While supplies last.). 1 book read = earn a chance at weekly & grand prize drawings (drawings for $10 and $25 gift cards for area restaurants and stores will begin )
The Summer Reading Club kicks off May 28, 2019. The Summer Reading Club Kick-Off Party is May 31 from 6-8 p.m. Sign up for the library’s 2019 Summer Reading Club at this fun event, where there will be face painting, crafts and visits by costumed characters Elephant and Piggie!
Readers of all ages are invited to join Summer Library Club “A Universe of Stories” beginning on May 20th. Earn prizes for reading and completing activities all summer long. Stop by any UA Library or visit www.summerlibraryclub.org to participate.
Summer Community Read launches on May 31! Sign-up to read throughout the summer, explore new worlds, and win prizes. All youth participants will receive a special t-shirt and every household will receive a “Star Reader” yard sign (while supplies last). To sign-up, come to the library anytime during library hours. Explore a “Universe of Stories” this summer and join us for our many exciting programs. Find programs on our calendar here.
Pick up your Summer Reading Program booklet to track your reading time and activities (all ages!). After completing 10 hours of reading and 10 activities, stop in to get a coupon packet. After reading 20 hours and completing 20 activities, kids will receive a free book of their choice and everyone will receive a backpack (while supplies last) and be entered to win one of our Grand Prizes.
Join the Summer Reading Club (May 28-Saturday, August 3), and you could win prizes for reading this summer! Come to a program or complete the weekly challenge to get an entry form for one of the awesome grand prizes. Meet all of your weekly reading goals this summer and you can stop by the library the last week of Summer Reading Club to pick out a free book.
- Adults: Sail away with a great read this summer and you could win boatloads of prizes! Fill out an entry form for each book or audiobook you dive into. The more you read, the higher your chances of winning sunken treasure! Visit the library for more information.
- Kids: Use your reading log to reach your reading goals, complete challenges, participate in library events, and win prizes. Reading logs will be available in the library’s 2019 Summer Events brochure and at ghpl.org.
Explore A Universe of Stories through reading, play and hands-on exploration. With engaging reading challenges, incentives and nearly 70 programs and events, this summer is out of this world! Follow LCL on Facebook or visit our calendar at lickingcountylibrary.org for times, audience, descriptions and registration information. Reading trackers are available at any location beginning June 1, 2019.
School and Classroom Reading Programs
Attention teachers! There are a couple of programs that allow you to reward your students for reading! Parents – if your child’s classroom isn’t participating in these programs, make sure you let the teacher know they are available to individual classrooms.
If you were a child of the 80’s or after, you may have participated in the Pizza Hut Book It! program as a student yourself. I still remember exactly what my Book It! pin looked like. It was purple and had spaces above a rainbow for a star sticker to be added each time I earned a reward.
The current program runs from October-March and is open to educators of students K-6 in home school, public, private and charter schools. Set a reading goal for each child in your class based on their ability. When they meet their monthly goal, you get to recognize them with a Reading Award Certificate, good for a free one-topping Personal Pan Pizza®. BOOK IT! materials are always free to schools. Enrollment begins in March prior to the upcoming school year.
Chipotle Reading Rewards is a program that awards students who complete reading challenges with FREE Chipotle kid’s meals. The month-long reading challenge is only open to each school once per school year, based on approval, and applications are prioritized for applications in which the entire school is participating.
Looking for other local options? Many fast food restaurant franchises will donate coupons for free items for classrooms if you ask!
Story Times in Columbus
Story time is a great way to get even the youngest tot interested in books and reading, and many programs are year round! We’ve gathered a list of story times in Columbus for kids! Note that some story times differ during the summer, so be sure to check the links before you go.