Summer reading programs combat the feared brain drain with incentives that offer attractive prizes to the kids who forgo the video games in favor of books. What are this year’s top summer reading incentive programs that help your kids build grade-appropriate reading skills as they earn points, win prizes and – dare we say it – have fun doing so?
Pottery Barn Kids: Ends July 31
Does your child want to win a free book? The Pottery Barn Kids stores offer a reading incentive program that lets the youngster earn a free book if they read eight books from the company’s recommended book list. Examples include “Llama Llama and the Bully Goat” by Anna Dewdney for younger readers and “Grammy Lamby and the Secret Handshake” by Kate Klise for older ones. Once the child has read the eight books, take the youngster to one of the company’s stores for the reward.
Half Price Books: Ends July 31
Is there a Half Price Books store in your neighborhood? If so, sign up for the Feed Your Brain Summer Reading Program. For every 300 minutes of logged reading time, the child earns HPB Bookworm Bucks that can be used to purchase a book at the store. For each age group, the store will award an additional $20 gift card to the top reader – the child who reads the most, which is well past the 300 minutes.
Barnes & Noble: Ends September 2
Declaring that “a book is a magical thing,” Barnes & Noble encourages children to read any eight books over the course of the summer. Download a reading journal to track your kid’s success and bring it to a B&N store by September 2. The child receives a free book that she may choose from a list printed on the journal.
Book Adventure: No End Date
Spearheaded by Sylvan Learning, Book Adventure has been in existence since 1999. The concept is easy: parents sign up and create student or parent accounts; kids select books to read by using the book finder. When they have finished reading these books offline, they return to take online quizzes about these books, which track reading comprehension.
Passing a quiz earns the children points that can then be turned into prizes such as temporary tattoos, candy bars or magazines. The advantage to this program is the setup of reading lists that help parents choose grade-appropriate books for their children. Even kids who might not be ordinarily inclined to read at grade level are more likely to give it a try because of the incentives.