Just in case reading for the sake of reading during the summer isn't enough for you or your kids (it most definitely wasn't when I was a kid), maybe prizes for reading will be the motivation needed to avoid the "Summer Slide."
The Summer Slide is basically reading skill that goes downhill unless a child is reading and has access to books.
I felt this infographic was informative.
|From CO Dept of Education|
There are numerous summer reading programs out there, but I've narrowed them down to the Best Summer Reading Programs for 2016. All of these programs are completely FREE which is fantastic.
Each of these programs are a bit different and are for different age groups, but the basic idea is you read, submit your log, and receive your free stuff. It's pretty easy, and fun to see what stuff you get.
I personally always love the free books my kids and I get, but activities like mini-golf, free meals, small toys, bookmarks, etc are other common and fun prizes.
2016's Best FREE Summer Reading Programs
Sync- Audiobooks for Teens 13+
- This is by far one of your best and easiest options. You can usually sign-up online, but some libraries require you to come in and get the program sheets/journals.
- You almost always get a free book after completing the program as well as other prizes. The bookmarks and books are my favorite prizes, but swimming, water parks, or restaurant coupons are also known to be part of the prizes .
- Everyone can participate (babies to adults)
- My kiddos and I do the library summer reading program every year. We sometimes do a couple different libraries. ;)
- This year the theme is Summer Reading Triathlon. You have to complete 3 out of the 4 reading tasks which include a fast book, long book, book series, and one that stretches your imagination. I actually think this is a fun and atypical Summer Reading format. Way to be original Barnes and Noble; well done!
- Record on a Reading Journal (PDF found here)
- Bring journal in to the store
- Choose a free book from a selection there. There are some really great books this year. Mercy Watson, Escape from Lemoncello's Library, and I Survived... books are a few of my favorites from this years selection.
- Program runs between May 17, 2016 - September 6, 2016, but there's a kick-off celebration at most of the stores this Saturday June 4th.
- There isn't an age limit, but the prizes are limited to books geared towards 1st through 6th grade. However, I do have my toddlers participate in the summer reading program, but I have never filled out a reading log/journal.
- FYI, Barnes and Noble does run out of book titles so the earlier you finish the better the selection you have.
- This year the theme is Be a Reading Superhero.
- Kids read and log their minutes. Kids can sign themselves up. Teachers and Parents can also be involved with this reading program.
- All kids across the country have their minutes combined and it is kept track on the website which is fun to see.
- Every time a child reaches a milestone you can enter a sweepstakes to win free books.
- Location on website for parents to find free book lists as well as a reading timer app.
- They do have events at various places around the country during the challenge. Check here for the schedule of events.
- Each month (June and July) kids in 8th grade and younger can keep strive to read a total of 300 minutes. High school kids are now invited to participate (they haven't in past years) and earn a giftcard by reading a book from the recommended list and write a short review.
- They keep track on this form which they print out and complete.
- Bring completed form into the store at the end of the month or before September 1st and get $5 worth of store bucks to use as you please. The gift card expires 9/1/16.
- This family fun arcade and pizza restaurant has a year long reading challenge.
- Read every day for two weeks, record it on this sheet, bring the sheet to your closest Chuck E Cheese and your child will receive 10 game tokens.
- This expires 12/31/16, and it doesn't say you can't do it multiple times.
- This summer reading, or really listening, program is for teenagers only, but that is really just b/c the books are YA Lit focused. Anyone can download the books, and listening to a book with your kid is a great idea.
- This program runs May 5 - August 17, 2016.
- Every week a teenager can download 2 free audiobooks (a current book and a classical title) to the Overdrive App. The books are good, and audiobooks are beneficial as well. Keep those kids involved with books whichever way you can. Plus, I love listening to audiobooks on roadtrips, commuting to work, long runs, or while do other hobbies.
- You can sign up to receive an email or text to remind you to download the book. You have one week to download the book from this site here, but once you download the audiobook files the books are yours to keep.
Now if you need help deciding what to read, check out the numerous lists found here or check out these lists for all different grades. I will be posting 2016 Summer Reading Lists tomorrow for all ages and reading levels.
Happy Summer Reading Fun and Getting Sweet Stuff for Free!