Keep Your Kids Reading All Summer Long!

Summer vacation is looming in the not too far distance.

About two and half months of free time—yikes! Keeping my twins busy with activities and summer camps will be a big help, but I would also love for them to exercise their minds and avoid the dreaded “summer slide.” What better way to do that than to get them involved in a couple of summer reading challenges and keep them reading all summer long! Summer reading programs can start as early as now so check with your local library to see what they have to offer. To help you get started, I’ve listed a few local summer reading programs below. I was excited to find a few national ones too! If you know of any that aren’t listed, feel free to share the info. in the comment section below.

Local Summer Reading Programs

Arlington Public Library Summer Reading Club – Program runs from June 3, 2011 through July 29, 2011. Each age group has a specific reading log color and reading or listening requirement. Fill out each log as you read or listen during the summer. When you have filled up your log, turn it in and receive a prize and grab another log. The first log you turn in entitles you to receive a reading certificate, a swim pass and a free ticket to the July 10th Rangers game. When you turn in additional logs, you get to choose a prize from a special Treasure Box filled with coupons and fun toys; three prizes (for 3 completed logs) maximum per day. Final celebration is on July 30, 2011. More info.

Dallas Mayor’s Summer Reading Program – Starts June 4, 2011 and runs through August 13, 2011; registration begins June 1st. Offers weekly prizes to kids who log at least four hours reading or listening each week (three hours if child is under 10 years old). Readers choose any reading material, such as books, magazines, audio books, etc. Final day to pick up prizes is Saturday, August 13, before 5:30 p.m. More info.

Fort Worth Mayor’s Summer Reading Challenge – Beginning on Saturday, May 21, 2011, you can visit any Fort Worth Library branch to pick up a Reading Card and get started. Read as much as you can during the summer, recording it on your reading card. The Summer Reading Challenge is open to people of ALL ages. Each time you return your card to the Library, you are entered in a drawing to win one of many great prizes, including a Netbook computer, an mp3 player or an eReader. The Challenge will conclude with a grand celebration at the Central Library on Sunday, August 14, where they will announce the winners of the grand prizes. Website.

Frisco Public Library Summer Reading Club for Kids – Pick up one reading log per child starting June 3, 2011. Read 10 books and log them. Turn in completed logs for prizes from July 5, 2011 through August 7, 2011. Prizes available while supplies last. Limit one prize pack per child. More info.

Irving Public Library Summer Reading Clubs – Readers of all ages can win prizes throughout the summer by participating in the Irving Public Library’s summer reading clubs. Join in on the fun by registering at any library location through July 31, 2011. Prizes will be available while supplies last. More info.

Plano Public Library Summer Reading Fun for Kids – Runs from June 1, 2011 through August 21, 2011 and is open to all ages. Set your own reading goal and log your progress. Kids and Teens: When you have reached your goal, come in to any library to claim your FREE book (while supplies last). More info.

McKinney Public Library Summer Reading Program – The McKinney Public Library System will host summer reading programs for youth, teen, and adults. Mark your calendars as the fun, games, and prizes will begin at both locations on June 6. Website.

Richardson Public Library Summer Reading Club – Open to kids through 12th grade and runs from June 4, 2011 through August 6, 2011. Log in number of books or hours depending on child’s age/grade. Five books/hours = get a certificate and your name listed on the reading club board. RISD students who read at least 5 books by August 6th get letters of recognition sent to their schools. Five more books/hours = collect stickers and get raffle entries for prizes. Prizes will be awarded at the Back-to-school program on August 6th. More info.

University Park Public Library Summer Reading Program – Log in hours or number of books depending on child’s age to win prizes. More info.

Sachse Public Library Summer Reading Club – Program for kids and teens ages 13-19. Program runs from June 4, 2011 through July 21, 2011. End of program party on July 28, 2011 where kids will receive their reading certificates and awards, and are automatically entered to win door prizes. Teens receive one entry to a drawing to be held on July 28th for every book they finish. Drawing is for $25 Barnes and Noble gift cards. More info.

Southlake Public Library Summer Reading Club – Program runs May 21, 2011 – August 12, 2011; ages not specified. Prize drawings are on August 13, 2011. More info.

National Summer Reading Programs

Barnes & Noble Summer Reading – Kids read and record books in their downloadable journal. When they have read eight books, they get to choose a FREE book from a list of titles. Completed journals must be returned to a local B&N store between May 24, 2011 and September 6, 2011 to receive the free book. More info.

Border’s Double Dog Dare Challenge – Open to kids 12 and under and runs from June 1, 2011 through September 5, 2011. Read 10 books and list them on your log. Take your completed log to any Borders, Borders Express, or Waldenbooks to redeem your coupon for a FREE book; choose from select titles. More info.

Chuck E. Cheese’s Reading Reward Calendar – This offer is a bit different in that it’s good through December 31, 2011 and is more of a tool that you can use to motivate and gauge your child’s reading progress over the summer on your own. (You and your child set his or her own daily reading goal and then you can reward your child by going to Chuck E. Cheese’s for an outing.) Print the two week log and then mark off each day when your child’s daily goal has been reached. A fully completed log earns your child 10 FREE tokens when you make a food purchase. The site has several other reward calendar themes here.

Half Price Books Feed Your Brain Summer Reading Program – This program is open to kids age 14 and under. Log a minimum reading goal of 15 minutes per day during June and July (grown ups can read to kids who are still learning). When your child reaches a minimum of 600 minutes total reading time, they can turn in their completed reading log at any Half Price Books store between July 25 – August 7 to receive a $5 Back-to-School Bucks summer reading reward. One top reader per age group will receive a $20 gift card. Their kickoff event is on June 5th at 2pm at your local Half Price Book store. Website.

H.E.Buddy Summer Reading Club – The goal is to log 10 books (reading or listening). Mail completed logs (postmarked by October 1, 2011) to the listed address for a chance to win a prize. The prize isn’t specified, but youth t-shirt sizes are requested so I’m guessing that may be what they’re giving away. The website has lots of stuff for children to enjoy, including online games, information about healthy eating, birthday clubs and more.

iVillage PBS Kids Summer Reading Community Challenge – This is a 6 week program that begins on June 6, 2011 and features free literacy-building resources for parents and children designed by experts at PBS Parents and PBS Kids. It looks like there will be daily reading challenge activities and a chance to win daily prizes. Here’s a page with details and resources for the program. There is also a special Barnes & Noble 40% discount offer for those who participate in this challenge.

Pizza Hut Book It! Summer Break Reading Challenge Sweepstakes – From July 15 through August 15th, kids who were in grades K-6 during the 2010-2011 academic year and who meet the challenge of reading five books will be eligible for a chance to win a summer fun prize package. More info.

Pottery Barn Book Club – Kids of all ages are invited to story time on Tuesdays from 11-11:30am. Members receive an official Book Club Passport at their first story time and a special gift after attending five story times. Website.

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