Time to Check Out Summer Reading Programs

Summer reading. The two words spell magic for me.

I remember coming home from the library in the summertime with stacks of books.

I remember reading on the cool floor of my basement bedroom, under deep green shady trees in the park, in the car on vacation, and practically every other minute I could cram it into the day. The freedom read with no school, or homework or book reports to think about was bliss, and the places my books took me were magical.

Summer reading programs are a great way to keep your child involved with reading and literature over the long school break.

Many public libraries offer summer reading programs for kids with themes, and parties, and prizes to celebrate reading all summer long. These are great because children’s librarians are the ultimate children’s book enthusiasts and it is part of their calling in life to find fun ways to connect readers with books. (For those who may be feeling a bit of a pinch this summer due to the slow economy, another advantage of these is they are usually free)

Another source of summer reading programs is bookstores. Independent bookstores are famous hosting reading events. One of the first Camp Halfbloods, based on Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson series was started by an independent book store in Texas. Bookstores will often host author visits and book activities, and even the chains strive to make reading fun for young readers.

Want to start your own little program? Used bookstores are a great resource. Let you child select one book (they are cheaper if you buy them used. Garage sales are another great resource. There’s always some kid outgrowing his or her books). Design an incentive program of fun activities or rewards for every book your child reads. Replace each finished book with another used selection. You and your kids can have fun shopping for and reading these books. And with your incentives tailored specifically toward your child’s interests, what could be more motivating?

Remember, it’s important your children continue to read over the summer so they don’t find themselves struggling at a new grade level in September. Besides, what can be better than getting to read exactly what you love?