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Children's Summer Reading Programs

Library Programs

Libraries often network with local businesses to create reward systems to inspire young people to read over the summer. Children sign up to receive an age-appropriate worksheet that offers them an easy way to log each book they read. Once the entire chart is complete, they can return to the library and pick out prizes that vary from local gift certificates to free books. Beyond the potential satisfaction of accomplishing their overall goal, some libraries inspire continued enthusiasm for reading by allowing kids to write online book reviews and share their thoughts on what they've read.

Retail Rewards

Several large bookstore retailers have become known for their encouraging methods of getting children to read. Some might offer downloadable charts from their websites to help families track the books kids read to gain a free book from the store. The reward titles that the stores supply as prizes are often limited and offered on a "first come, first served" basis, creating another motivation for youths to accomplish their goal in a timely manner.

School Programs

School systems vary in what they require of their students over the summer; however, some schools provide their own summer reading programs to prepare kids for the fall semester. Teachers traditionally make this information available at the end of the school year or via a school district website. Parents may also consider approaching their child's next year teacher about creating a list of recommended titles that will benefit the student in the year to come.

Parental Plans

Beyond formal reading programs, there are natural ways to develop a summer strategy to help your kids enjoy reading. The easiest method is to lead the charge yourself by creating a simple dinnertime or bedtime routine in which a chapter of a book is read by a different family member each night. Another approach is to read through the the entire works of a given author or series, then celebrating the end of that journey with a special family day that is themed around what you've read. These grassroots ideas can increase literacy, develop critical thinking and expand your child's imagination while deepening your relationship with her.

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