It’s summertime, and amid the parks, play dates and mini adventures, set some time aside to get lost in the pages of a good book with your child. Sign ups for summer reading programs are already underway, with points and prizes available to all those eager readers out there.
“There are all kinds of benefits to summer reading programs,” says Marilee Clark, Orem Public Library’s associate librarian of programming and outreach.
Aside from not costing participants or parents any money, summer reading programs spark interest in learning, and the more fun kids have while learning, the more they’ll want to continue learning.
Clark also talks about the “summer slump” that hits a child’s education during the lazy, warm days off from school.
“(Reading programs) give parents a chance to help their kids bridge that summer gap,” Clark says.
Here are eight summer reading programs to keep the brain active and kids engaged (and maybe even win some prizes):
Provo City Library
Kids can sign up online or at the library for this program. They also set their own reading goals, recording their goals and actual minutes read on a chart provided by the library. Those who get behind on their goals can catch up and even get ahead, but be aware: only one prize at the end. Readers can receive Secret Code Challenges online, a Halfway Prize starting June 29, a Grand Prize between July 27 and 31, and an invite to the End of Summer Reading Party on Saturday, Aug. 1, 10 a.m.–11:30 a.m. at the Provo Recreation Center outdoor pool. Learn more at provolibrary.com.
Orem Public Library
Two different eight-week (June-July) programs are available through the Orem Public Library: one for kids and another for teens. Kids ages 2–12 can sign up for the Think & Wonder, Wonder & Think program designed around the science of nature. The teen program theme is Natural Curiosity, with a focus on hiking and exploring nature. Prizes are age-specific and can only be claimed if participants finish their programs by the end of July. Learn more at oremlibrary.org.
Springville Public Library
Kids, teens and adults can sign up for age-specific programs at the Springville library this summer. Signups go through June, and the programs run through August. Kids 2–12 set a goal for the number of minutes they want to read, while teens and adults are assigned reading challenges to complete by the end of the program to win their prizes. The reading program’s theme this summer is superheroes, with fun activities such as laser tag, mad science shows and author nights scheduled through the duration of the program. Learn more at springville.org.
Spanish Fork Public Library
Every Hero Has A Story is this summer’s theme at the Spanish Fork Library. Programs are available for all ages, with signups continuing through June. Kids 2–12 years old can gain points as they go through the program and claim prizes from three different levels. Participants who complete the reading program get entered into drawing to win a mini Wii. Learn more at spanishfork.org.
Barnes and Noble Summer Reading Program
Targeted toward kids in 1st through 6th grade, this summer reading program let’s participants read any eight books (borrowed from the library or bought). Kids then write about their favorite parts of the books in a Reading Journal provided by Barnes and Noble. Those who complete eight books and turn in the Reading Journal can collect a free book from Barnes and Noble. Learn more at barnesandnoble.com.
Scholastic Summer Reading Challenge
This online reading program runs from May 4 to Sept. 4 and requires students (in elementary and middle school) to register online. Participants record their minutes online and contribute to setting a new reading world record! The elementary school that contributes the most minutes wins a visit from Michael Northrop, a noted children’s book author. Varian Johnson, well-known writer of contemporary young adult literature, will visit the top-contributing middle school. Learn more at scholastic.com.
Kids in grades K–8th can sign up online for this free reading program. Readers look up books on the website, check them out at the library, and then complete a quiz over what they’ve read to earn prizes. Learn more at bookadventure.com.
Utah State Fair
Participants must be between the ages of 6 and 12 as of Sept. 1, 2015, to qualify for this summer reading program. In order to win the prizes, children must finish reading 10 books between April 1 and July 27, record those books on a reading record form, be verified by a teacher, parent, guardian or librarian, and mail the completed forms to the Fair by no later than July 27. Those who turn in their completed forms on time will receive these prizes:
- A gate entry pass for any one day of the 2015 Utah State Fair
- A Ribbon Bookmark
- One coupon for a free drink at the fair
- One coupon for one free ride at the Fair
Learn more at utahstatefair.com.