Reading is a fundamental part of a child’s education and maintaining good reading habits in the summer months helps keep kids’ minds sharp.
Reading also has long-lasting health benefits such as increased cognitive function, memory, vocabulary, empathy and reduced stress. Summer reading programs encourage children to explore new literary adventures while having fun and earning rewards. Not only do these programs provide incentives for children and teens to keep reading, they also encourage parents and family members to get in on the action.
Below are a few programs that will keep kids reading all summer long:
Hillsborough County Public Library
This year’s “Tails and Tales” summer reading program invites readers of all ages to log reading hours from June 1 through July 31. This year the library will also be hosting a “Share Your Story” summer photo challenge from July 6-16, along with a number of virtual events. Reading hours and participation in virtual activities can be logged to unlock digital badges, story recommendations and the chance to win exciting tech prizes like Bluetooth speakers, cameras, tablets and more. Visit www.hcplc.org/events/summer to register and get started.
Camp Book It!
This program offered by Pizza Hut, allows parents to reward their kids all summer long. Track and reward your kids’ reading for June, July and August on a digital dashboard. When they meet their monthly reading goal, they’ll receive a certificate for a free one-topping Personal Pan Pizza from Pizza Hut. This site also shares fun activities and book recommendations each week to keep the fun going throughout the summer. Sign up for our newsletter to be informed when enrollment opens for 2021. Learn more at www.bookitprogram.com.
Scholastic Summer Reading
The goal of this summer reading program is to help you get books in the hands of kids, support social-emotional well-being, build skills and create community among kids. Through Sept. 3, kids will be encouraged to read, celebrate their achievements and help increase access to books for their peers. Kids simply need to create an account on Scholastic’s Home Base, where they can keep track of their Reading Streak. The longer they keep their streak up, the more books Scholastic will donate to children in need. There are also weekly virtual author events, book-based games, interactions with favorite literary characters and more. Visit www.scholastic.com/site/summer/home.html to get started.
Hillsborough County Public Schools Summer Reading with myON
This reading program runs June 7 through July 31, and there are two ways to take part: Weekly Challenges or Summer-Long Challenges. In the Weekly Challenges, students read the book of the week for their grade level and then answer questions to be entered into a drawing. In the Summer-Long challenge, students can read any books in myON or outside of myON. Based on the number of books read, top readers in each grade range will win great prizes. Learn more at https://hillsborough.renaissance.com/.
Reading with the Rays
This is a great way to get your baseball-loving kids to keep reading. The rules of the game are simple. Kids simply pick their favorite books from home, the local library or anywhere they choose. Visit www.mlb.com/rays/community/reading to download a game card. As your child reads, they simply track their hours by rounding the bases on the card. When they get to each base, a parent or guardian initials the card to track the student’s progress. Kids can hit a reading home run by reading for 24 hours and earning Reading with the Rays prizes! Completed game cards can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org to receive Reading with the Rays rewards.
SYNC Summer Audiobooks
Looking to get your teen into reading this summer? Have them sign up for the SYNC summer audiobook program at www.audiobooksync.com. Each week through August 4 two free audiobooks will be available for download.
Barnes & Noble Summer Reading
While the bookstore chain is not offering a reading program this year per se, they are a great place to turn to help your child build their summer reading list. Visit barnesandnoble.com and search “summer reading” to find the very best in children’s publishing in three categories: Picture Books, Young Readers and Young Adult. This is also a great place for parents to find ideas for their reading list as well, so you can read as a family.
By Karen Ring