Wondering how to combine a little educational encouragement with your summer schedule? There are tons of great reading programs throughout the area! Today, I’m listing national companies that offer reading incentives, as well as ones that are specific to DC. Stay tuned for our annual round-up of DC-area library programs and our list of area booksales so you can buy some books to read. You might also enjoy our tips for “Reading on a Dime.”
Barnes & Noble
Read any 8 books and record them in the Reading Journal. Bring the completed Reading Journal to your local B&N store between May 20 – September 2, 2014 then choose a free book from their selection on the Reading Journal list at the store. Also, be sure to join Barnes & Noble’s free Kids’ Club – as a welcome gift, you’ll receive 30% off the list price on any one kids’ book or toy, a $5 reward for every $100 you spend on kids’ items online and in stores, and a free cupcake from their café for all your children’s birthdays.
Book Adventure is a fun, free, online way to motivate your child to read! Kids in grades K-8 can search for books, read them offline, come back to quiz on what they’ve read, and earn prizes for their reading success. My favorite prize is their free, three month subscription to the Highlights magazine!
Each year, Books-A-Million offers a summer reading program. Read six book on their summer reading form and receive a backpack (while supplies last). While they released the forms last week, they still haven’t been updated to reflect 2014 dates. I’ll keep checking and update this page when the new forms are posted.
Chuck E. Cheese
Looking for a fun way to reward your children for good behavior? Just download and print out the calendar, mark off days with a pen or sticker as your child accomplishes his/her goals, bring in the completed calendars to Chuck E. Cheese’s and receive 10 free tokens as a reward. They offer a reading calendar, in addition to practical ones like, “good behavior” and “daily chores.”
In cooperation with PBS Kids, this website offers suggestions for creating your own Do-It-Yourself Summer Reading Camp, complete with a new theme each week (for 10 weeks).
Half Price Books Summer Reading
Children 14 and under who wish to participate in these reading program must read for at least 15 minutes each day for a month (Grown-ups may read aloud to kids who are still learning), add up their minutes and have their parent or guardian initial each week. Once you’ve read 300 minutes, turn in your completed reading log to earn your $5 HPB Bookworm Bucks reading reward for the month. They will award one top reader per age group each month with a prize – a $20 HPB Gift Card! This program kicks off with the biggest story time of the summer on Sunday, June 8th at 2 PM. See your store for details!
Miss A’s favorite series is the Cat in the Hat Learning Library, created by the amazing PBS Kids. On their website, you can find out more books they’ve published, suggested reading lists, and practical suggestions for creating a literary home.
Their Book It program is winding down for the year, but be sure to sign up for Fall 2014! Set reading goals for your children, from Kindergarten – 6th Grade, then reward the achievement and redeem a certificate for free pizza. Even homeschoolers can participate! This summer, enjoy their Summer Reading Challenge. Their website offers printables, online games, book lists, and more. And, when you child reads 5 books, they will be eligible to win some fun prizes!
Pottery Barn Kids
Pottery Barn Kids is offering fun and educational activities at your local store! Throughout the summer, visit their weekly story time (on Tuesdays between 11 – 11:30, check your store for details) and enjoy healthy snacks, character appearances, and activities and giveaways from PBS Kids. In addition, from now through July 31st, read 8 of the award-winning books on one of their recommended lists and receive a free book at participating retail stores (while supplies last).
The Scholastic Summer Challenge is a free reading program dedicated to stopping the “Summer Slide” and encouraging kids to read every day this summer.
The top elementary school with the most minutes read/logged will win a school visit from author David Shannon. The top middle school with the most minutes read/logged will win a school visit from author Gordon Korman. The top 20 schools with the most minutes logged will receive recognition in the 2015 Scholastic Book of World Records. The top 20 schools (along with the top school in every state) will also receive a Reading Plaque to display at school.
This year’s theme for the Scholastic Summer Reading Challenge is “Reading Under the Stars!” Kids will unlock constellations and learn fun facts about space as they reach reading milestones every week. This summer, Scholastic has joined together with EVEREADY®, the maker of batteries and flashlights, to power the Summer Reading Challenge and encourage families to create fun reading adventures outside.
TD Summer Reading Program
TD Bank makes reading fun while teaching young people the importance of saving money. It’s just part of TD’s commitment to education – and to you. Participating is easy: 1) Read 10 books this summer, 2) print out the Summer Reading Form (343K PDF), 3) write down the names of the books they’ve read, 4) take the form to the nearest TD Bank, and 5) receive $10 in a new or existing Young Saver account.
DC-Area Specific Businesses
B&O Railroad Museum
A magical experience that takes children on a trip and teach then new things about people and places! Children who participate in “I’ve Been Readin’ on the Railroad” Summer Reading Program at the B & O Railroad Museum and Ellicott City Station earn a free book and a chance to win an engineer’s outfit. Pick up a reading journal at the B & O Railroad Museum or the Ellicott City Station, browse the children’s railroad books and begin your journey! Read 10 railroad-related books, complete your journal, and return it to either Museum by August 25, 2014 for your free book and a chance to win an engineer’s outfit! To print the reading journal, click here.