Summer Reading Loss

A 2004 Johns Hopkins University study reported that all students, especially lower-income males and females experience learning loss during the summer months. Students who don’t read over the summer lose reading performance skills.
Sometimes, parents will do whatever it takes to get their kids reading. While the debate is still out about whether or not it is a good idea to bribe kids to read or not, incentive programs DO work. There are many summer reading reward programs sponsored by various companies and education sites across the U.S. I can pretty much guarantee the list below is the most extensive on the web!
Before you check into these programs, remember that your local library probably has a great incentive program to get your son reading this summer. Also, in case you missed it, you may want to call his school and see if there are any summer reading programs that they are sponsoring!

Summer Reading Incentive Programs

Barnes & Noble Summer Reading Program:  The program encourages kids to read eight books over summer vacation. Kids go online to use B & N’s online reading journal. They write down the favorite part of their books and have their parent’s sign the journal. When they have completed eight books, they bring their completed Reading Journal to their local B & N store and receive a coupon for a free book! Program goes until September  7th, 2009.

Scholastic Summer Challenge: Kids can join a Scholastic team by taking a fun quiz online. Then, they earn points by logging reading minutes. They can even earn bonus points by taking polls, quizzes, and by playing games. Through the summer, there are various sweepstakes and prizes a young reader can win. At the end of the summer, the Scholastic team with the most points gets to pick which Save the Children U.S. Program will receive a donation from Scholastic.

Borders Books & Music:  Similar to the B&N program, kids read eight books, have parents sign their completed worksheet, and receive a 50% off coupon for selected items in the store.
Pizza Hut Book-It Program:  The popular Book-It incentive program actually takes a break during the summer. However, Pizza Hut’s website has great resources that help your kid continue to reading during the summer. Print off a tracking calendar and read their great reading tips.
Half Price Books: This bookstore (which has locations in seventeen states) is offering a program that rewards kids with a $3.00 in-store shopping card if they read for 15 minutes each day of the week. Limit one card per week.
Book Adventure: This program, not limited just to summertime, is a wonderful resource to get kids motivated to read. Kids create their own booklists from over 7000 titles. When kids are finished with a book, they take a quiz and earn points! When they have earned enough points, they can visit the Prize Library, where they can receive something as small as a bookmark, a chocolate bar, a quality book, or even create their own incentive program. This program is sponsored by Sylvan Learning.
Chuck E. Cheese Reading Rewards: If children read daily for a two-week period and log their time on a Chuck E. Cheese calendar, they receive 10 free game tokens with any food purchase. Bring log-in forms to any Chuck E. Cheese location.

Pottery Barn Kids:  Every Tuesday from 11:00 to 11:30am, Pottery Barn Kids stores have a story time for young children. Attendees get a book club card and a special gift after they have visited five times.

TD Bank Summer Reading Program:  TD Bank’s online website provides a sheet to log your child’s reading. After he has read 10 books, take the log to your nearest bank and receive $10!

National Amusement’s Bookworm Wednesdays: At select National Amusement theaters, if you bring a book report at 10am, you gain free admission to a children’s movie. Parents and kids under 6 get in free as well. (They do not have to present a book report!)
PBS Kids Super Why! Right-on Readathon:  Younger kids who are fans of this show will get a kick out of logging books they have read on downloadable worksheets. They receive a certificate of achievement and a bookmark (printable) when they complete the program.
What have been your experiences, negative or positive, with children’s summer incentive reading programs?
ALSO… Did I miss a program?  Please tell us below!

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