With 2 fresh new readers and a needy 3 year old that loves a good story, we go through lots of books in our house and intend to ramp up the dedicated reading time now that school is out. If you’re looking for ways to keep the focus on reading in these hot dry months, there’s no better way to motivate your learner than to sign them up for a summer reading program. Participating in your local library’s reading program has been a summer staple for years (I still remember reading books to get the free hamburger coupons from the library down the street) but have you considered signing your family up for more than one program? The prizes have gotten really wonderful (hello……Kindle!) and the successful feeling of turning in all those reading logs is a great motivator for kids that like checklists. No, we won’t go crazy and pursue every prize available but you can bet we’ll keep up with at least 2 or 3. For those who’d like to join us, here are some of the best summer reading programs available in DFW:
Borders bookstore is offering a free book to every child 12 or under who indicates that they’ve read (or had someone read to them) 10 books. You can choose any 10 books to qualify but your free book will be a choice from a predetermined list. The options include great authors like Beverly Cleary and Jeff Brown so your child won’t be disappointed. Program ends on 8/26/10
Barnes and Noble has framed their summer reading program around the very popular childrens book series, 39 Clues. Students in grade 6 or under are asked to read 8 books AND identify where each book took place. After they fill out their passport and turn it in they can choose from a list of books to take home for free. Among the options are books written by Judy Blume, Rick Riordan, Beverly Cleary and Roald Dahl. Promotion ends on 9/7/10.
Half Price Books believes that kids respond to regular and repeated motivation when looking for incentives to read in the summertime. Their program requires kids age 14 or under to read for at least 15 minutes on five or more days a week. At the end of each week, participants are asked to bring in their weekly reading logs to receive a FREE $3 gift certificate for anything in the store. This program expires on 7/31/10.
In addition to bookstores, almost all public libraries offer some sort of reading program for the summer. Some of my favorites:
Open to children of all ages, the Mayor’s Summer Reading Program at the Dallas Public Library offers weekly prizes to kids who log five hours of reading (or listening) time a week. There is an END PARTY on Saturday, Aug 14, 10am-12pm at the J. Erik Jonsson Central Library.
Fort Worth Library’s Mayor Mike and Rosie’s Summer Reading Challenge 2010, “Deep in the Heart of Texas”
The Fort Worth library offers a summer reading program for every member of the family. For everyone who logs 14 days of reading, they will be able to enter their name in a drawing with prizes like MP3 players, Netbooks or even a Kindle.
Kids who participate in the Southlake Public Library’s program receive prizes like a free book, free museum ticket and even a free circus ticket (all awards are based on hours logged). For every documented 5 hours of reading, kids also receive an entry into the BIG PRIZE drawings done at the end of the summer. Program ends 8/14/10.
The McKinney Public Library’s Reading Club is open to children ages 3 through 6th grade. In order to earn a prize, a child must read (or be read to) as many hours as they are old. After children have completed their goals, they may collect their prize in the Children’s Department at the Hall Library. Prizes for reaching one’s goal include a book, a bookmark, coupons and a Texas Reading Club Certificate. This program runs through 8/14/10.
By taking part in the Arlington Public Library’s 2010 Summer Reading Club, kid’s can earn tickets to a Texas Rangers game, passes to swim at an Arlington pool, great prizes, and an invitation to an end of the summer party. Depending on age, participants can choose to log reading hours or book titles and need to turn in their documentation by 7/31/10.
Of course, there are many more great reading programs out there and they all serve the same purpose – to encourage children to keep READING over the summer. No matter what their age, sign your kiddos up for one of these great opportunities and watch them reap the rewards of all their hard work. Happy Reading!