At the end of every school year, I can’t help but sing that ACDC song, “School’s out for summer! School’s out forEVER!” Well, school isn’t out forever, but the two months of summer break is still enough time to worry about the dreaded “summer slide” – the lull in academic learning that causes kids to lose the skills they learned in class and start the next school year behind. Even though I think summer is a time for hours and hours of free play outdoors, I’m still making sure that we keep up on our reading skills this summer. One fun and rewarding way to do that is through the many summer reading programs throughout the city.
Summer reading programs are great because not only do they encourage kids to read more, but they reward reading with fun activities and prizes. The more your kid reads, the more prizes they earn!
- Summer Reading Programs at Memphis Public Libraries: At select library locations across the city, the summer reading program, “Explore Memphis” will be kicking off today, Saturday, June 2nd with a fun day filled with music, crafts, story times, and food trucks. The program is part summer reading program and part summer discount program. For summer reading, kids of all ages can pick up a reading log from their closest library location and log twenty minutes of reading a day. Every five days of logged reading earns a new prize. For the discount program, this is where the “explore” part of “Explore Memphis” comes into play. Throughout the months of June and July, presenting your library card at participating local businesses will earn you all kinds of discounts! Participating locations include: The Children’s Museum, The Brooks Museum, Stax, The Dixon, and The Botanic Garden. Can’t make it to the kick off party? You can register online or at any library location throughout the summer.
- Summer Reading at Novel Bookstore: Local favorite for books, Novel, in the Laurelwood shopping center, is rolling out a brand new summer reading program for kids. Completing a reading log booklet will earn prizes, such as free books and coupons to Frost bakery. All ages can participate. Go to the register in the kid’s reading section to pick up your reading log booklet.
- Barnes and Nobles summer reading: Head over to Barnes and Nobles to pick up their summer reading log where kids can record the books they have read, the amount of time spent reading, and share what parts of the book they liked and why. Completing the book log will earn free books from a list of book prizes. All ages can participate but the program best suits grades 1-6.
- Scholastic Summer Reading Challenge: Are you travelling a lot this summer and won’t be in town to bring your reading logs to the library or book store? The summer reading program through Scholastic online is the perfect solution for you because the program is completely online. Kids and parents create an account and log reading time through the Scholastic website. Every year has a different theme, and this year is “Magical Reading,” celebrating the twentieth anniversary of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (feel old yet??).
- Book It at Pizza Hut: Yes! Book It is still around! The reading program anyone who went to elementary school in the 80s and 90s took part in is still encouraging young readers to progress in their literacy skills. It happens to be the longest running reading program ever! Go to the Pizza Hut website to read about how to participate and their team-up this summer with Candlewick Press.