13 Summer Reading Programs

Summer may be the time to sit back and relax, but kids should still be encouraged to read. Books open minds and encourage people – of all ages – to unleash their creativity. Budding readers can be inspired to write a story of their own one day, and it’s so important to spend even 5 minutes a day reading a book. While it might not sound initially exciting, summer reading programs are ideal for kids. It’s a useful way to learn outside of school, and there are lots of reading programs to join. 

Public Libraries

One of the best places to start your search for summer reading programs must be your local library. Most will have a reading program for kids and if they don’t, they’ll be able to point you in the right direction, nonetheless. 

Chuck E. Cheese

Chuck E. Cheese is a renowned establishment in the country, and they also have a children’s summer reading program. For kids who read two weeks in a row, they earn 10 points. Of course, a food purchase is necessary, and you’ll have to complete a form to claim the tokens. Putting that obstacle aside, it’s a fantastic program for kids. 

Barnes & Noble

One of the best summer reading programs for children must be Barnes & Noble. Everyone knows the name and their reading program is perfect for those long summer nights. When children read eight books, they can receive a free book, once they’ve logged the titles in their reading journal. It’s available for students in 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, and 6th grade, respectfully. 

Junie B. Kids Club

The Junie B. Jones series is a favorite among millions of children and the Junie B. Kids Club is sure to retain the interest of your children. Once your kid signs up for the reading club, you can get activities sent via email. 

Reading is Fundamental

One of the country’s biggest non-profit children’s literacy organizations, Reading is Fundamental is perfect for most kids. There are lots of free eBooks for children to read and even the odd interactive activity too. Reading is Fundamental aims to help children with their basic and advanced reading abilities. It is a wonderful organization and encourages children to pick up a book and read. 

Half Price Books

Also known as the Summer Reading Camp, the Half Price Books program is great for children of all ages. There are regular giveaways for children who spend over three hundred minutes reading in June and July. There are mystery book recommendations, printable sheets, and online storytimes too. It is even suitable for children of all ages.

Professional Sports Teams

A lot of local and international sports teams sponsor reading programs for children. For instance, Chicago Fire FC and Tampa Bay Rays, both work with summer reading programs to encourage children to read. You should consider local sports teams and whether they have a similar reading program too. 


Scholastic has an online program built for children. It challenges children to read and note on their site how often they read. There are virtual rewards to earn, and children can meet fellow readers. Scholastic also helps to provide reading materials to children with limited access to books, so they do a lot for good causes. 


Sync’s summer reading program is aimed at teenagers. Every child will be given two free audiobooks each week for the entire summer. That should encourage more children to read, even if it just starts with an audiobook. There are lots of titles to choose from and can be easily downloaded for free too. 

Showcase Cinemas

If you want to encourage your children or students to read, tell them about Showcase Cinemas’ reading program. Children get free admission to selected films when they complete a book report. All reports must be handed into participating box offices, however. 


Books-a-Million offers a free incentive for children to join their reading program. It’s only a pen and notepad but it can be a great tool to encourage children to pick up a book. There are lots of books available and can be a useful program for most children too. 


H.E.B grocery stores sponsor the H-E-Buddy summer reading clubs. Children, who read at least 10 books during the summer, are rewarded with a special prize. It’s a great incentive for children to pick up a book and read. 


The BOOK IT summer reading club is useful for children of all ages. Children can access a digital dashboard just for them. Each child is given a personal reading goal for the month, if they reach the goal, they get a free pizza. This should encourage children to pick up a few books this summer. 

Choose your Reaction!