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FREE Summer Reading Programs for Kids & Teens πŸ“š

Updated for 2020!

By Christen Reiner, Macaroni Kid Lakewood-Littleton Publisher June 5, 2020


Reading during the summer is the easiest way to keep your childrens' brains active and develop great reading habits! And, particularly this year, with fewer activities on the calendar, I am all about finding ways to keep the "I'm boreds" at bay. 

However, not every kid is willing to pick up a book on their own during their time off of school. Use these incentive programs, which are easily accessed from your home, to encourage reading at your house this summer! 



πŸ“šJEFFCO PUBLIC LIBRARIES - EXPLORE SUMMER READING: IMAGINE YOUR STORY

Jeffco Public Libraries invite people of all ages to Explore Summer Reading and earn multiple prizes along the way! Register online to enter a world of make-believe and take an epic journey! Discover magical worlds and activities, all available with just your imagination. Details about prize distribution are still being worked out, so please hold tight for more information coming soon. The program runs from June 1 to July 31.


πŸ“šDENVER PUBLIC LIBRARIES - SUMMER OF ADVENTURE

Youth from birth to 12th grade can grow, learn and have fun with the Denver Public Library’s Summer of Adventure program! Choose your own READ, MAKE, and EXPLORE path and complete 15 activities to finish the program. Receive a free book once you complete the program. You will also be entered to win gift cards to local businesses or family passes to local cultural institutions. The program runs through July 31.


πŸ“šBEMIS PUBLIC LIBRARY: IMAGINE YOUR STORY

Bemis offers summer reading adventures for kids, teens, and adults. Let your imagination run wild and sign up for a chance to win weekly prizes, participate in awesome programs,
and submit book reviews for a chance to win even more! You can even win prizes for your school! The program runs from May 26 to August 9.


πŸ“š BARNES & NOBLE SUMMER READING JOURNAL

Kids in 1st through 6th grade! Read eight books of your choice this summer and record them in your Summer Reading Journal. Bring the completed Reading Journal into a Barnes & Noble store between August 1 and August 31, 2020 and you get to choose a free book from the approved list (on the back of the journal). Check out the details of the reading program and get summer reading suggestions for all ages at BN.com/SummerReading.


πŸ“š SCHOLASTIC READ-A-PALOOZA

This completely free program encourages kids to read for fun through a safe app. Starting May 4, kids are able to make an account on any mobile device and keep track of their reading day steak while earning special rewards. As a child extends their reading streak, they are able to unlock more digital experiences. Kids get to create their own avatar, read books, interact with characters, and play book-based games. The Read-A-Palooza program runs through September 4. 


πŸ“š BRONCOS BOOKWORMS CHALLENGE

Calling all Bronco fans in elementary school! Miles, the Denver Broncos mascot challenges kids to read ten books this summer. Logging their reads in the printable playbook between March 20 and August 24, they will have the opportunity to be recognized and receive a Broncos Bookworm certificate, bookmark, and an invitation to an exclusive Bookworm event. Make sure to help your child turn in the playbook via email by August 24, 2020 in order for your reader to qualify as a Broncos Bookworm.  


πŸ“šCAMP BOOKIT!

Pizza Hut is offering its first ever Camp BOOK IT! to keep reward your kids for reading all summer long. Track and reward your kids' reading for June, July and August in the all digital dashboard. Encourage them to meet their monthly reading goal, and they'll receive a free Personal Pan Pizza from Pizza Hut! Camp BOOKIT! will also be sharing fun activities and book recommendations each week to keep the fun going throughout the summer!

 

πŸ“š LIFEWAY SUMMER READING PROGRAM

This scripture integrated program is for kids ages 1-12. The challenge is to read six books during the span of the summer, as well as memorize six scripture verses! With help from their parents, children record the books and bible verses in a printable journal. Then, after completing the online form (available in July), children may redeem their journal for a free book. Not only does this encourage kids to read for fun, but it also prompts kids to learn about scripture. 


πŸ“š THE NEW YORK TIMES SUMMER READING CONTEST

The New York Times is inviting teenagers around the world, aged 13-19, to add The New York Times to their summer reading lists, and they want to hear what teens have to say about what they are reading. Giving teens more “voice and choice,” the open-ended contest offers teens the chance to choose something in The Times that has sparked their interest, then tell them why. Judges from the Times newsroom pick favorite responses each week, and publish them. It’s as simple as that. The contest runs from June 12 to August 21.


πŸ“š NO TIME FOR FLASHCARDS SUMMER READING CALENDAR

This resource page offers reading prompts for each day of June, July, and August. This reading challenge encourages kids to learn throughout the summer by reading a different book with a different prompt each day. These reading calendars include preschool through elementary school aged children and it encourages them to pick up a new book each day and explore new topics.


πŸ“šSYNC FREE AUDIO BOOKS FOR TEENS

Let's be real, not all teens like to crack a book open during the summer. SYNC is a free summer audiobook program for teens 13+ that offers participants two thematically paired audiobooks per week. Teens can sign up via text for new title alerts on Thursdays. The program returns April 30 and continues through July 29. 28 titles were given away over 14 weeks in 2019!



🌟 PUBLISHER'S TIP:

I love to read, but I don't make time for it the way I used to pre-kids or when they were younger. Even before COVID-19 hit, I decided to do something to change that. It started from a selfish place, because I wanted to carve out time for myself to read, but it ended up being super helpful for the daily reading that my kids were required to do for school.

Inspired by my friend, Mandy, I started a Daily Reading Time in my house. EVERYONE had to read during this time, and everyone had to be in the living room together (mostly to monitor that they were actually reading). They all balked at first, but guess what! They eventually came to look forward to the time, and now enjoy reading for fun. We still meet everyday in the living room, where we all go on our own adventure for 30 minutes. And it's awesome.