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Exciting 2016 Summer Reading Programs And More

Now that Memorial Day has passed and schools are finishing up the academic year, we can look forward to all things summer. That means warm days (or very very hot ones, as it is our case), more time spent outdoors (with ample sun protection), and summer reading programs (Yay!!!).

Since both of my kiddos really enjoy being read to, I try to make sure they are exposed to as many good books as possible. As a part of that effort, I have tried to involve my kids in summer reading programs every summer since they were born. As it turns out,  summer reading programs are a great way to encourage kids (and parents) to read more with the added motivation of receiving rewards and prizes for their efforts.

This week, I took some time to check out some of the available options for this year’s summer reading program and I was surprised to find several exciting ones. Not only can children get to spend more time enjoying good books they can also earn FREE books to add to their personal libraries, FREE T-shirts, gift certificates, or even extra money in their savings account, for doing so. Although not all of these programs apply to my kiddos (due to age requirements), it might benefit some of your children so I am sharing them with you.

Here they are:

2016 Summer Reading Programs:

  1. Barnes and Noble Summer Reading Triathlon 
    • Date: June 4-September 6
    • Ages: Grades 1-6
    • Number of required books: not specified
    • Additional Requirements: answer 3 out of 4 questions on the journal provided and return to the store
    • Prize: Free book (child can chose from a pre-selected list)
  2. TD Bank Summer Reading Program
    • Date: June 1-August 31
    • Ages: Grades K-5
    • Number of required books: 10
    • Additional Requirements: write down the names of the books on a form provided
    • Prize: $10 in a new or existing TD bank Simple Savings account
  3. H-E-Buddy Summer Reading Club
    • Date: Ends October 1
    • Ages: 3-12
    • Number of required books: 10
    • Additional Requirements: Must be Texas residents. Fill out form provided on the link and mail to address listed.
    • Prize: Free Summer Reading Club T-shirt
  4. Half Price Books Summer Reading Program (Feed Your Brain)
    1. Date: June 1-July 31 (Logs need to be turned in by September 1)
    2. Ages: (lower limit not specified, it does say that “parents can read to younger children who are still learning”)- High School
    3. Required Number of reading time: 300 min
    4. Additional Requirements: Use provided reading log to keep track of reading time and bring it to local HPB when you reach required time.
    5. Prize: $5 HPB Bookworm Bucks
    6. note: the requirements are different for High School Students.

      5. Your Local Public Library
Public libraries usually have great summer reading programs that offer rewards and prizes for kids of all ages. Here are a couple of South Texas Programs I am signing my kids up for.

  1. McAllen Public Library Summer Reading Program
    • Date: May 30-July 22
    • Ages: birth-18
    • Required Number of reading time: Vary by age group
    • Additional Requirements: online registration, log books in online reading log
    • Prize: Vary by age group
  2. Brownsville Public Library
    • Date: May 30-July 1
    • Ages: birth-Adults
    • Required Number of reading time: Vary by age group
    • Additional Requirements: online registration, log books in reading log provided upon registration and return to library.
    • Prize: Small gift bag and certificate of completion, entrance into a raffle

If you are interested in FREE children’s kindle books check out the links below:


Here are a few other FREE summer programs I came across that you might also enjoy this summer:

  1. Every Kid in the Park
    • Every fourth grader in America gets a FREE pass to ALL national parks and waters. The summer is a great time to take full advantage of this amazing program. Third graders going into 4th grade next fall can get their pass starting September 1, 2016.
  2. Kids Bowl Free Program
    • All registered kids get 2 free games per day all summer long at participating bowling alleys all over the country. Click on the link above to check if there is a participating location near you.
  3. Kids Skate Free Program
    • All registered kids can skate for FREE at participating locations. Hours, skate rental fees, and age groups allowed to participate may vary by location. click on the link above to find a participating location near you or to print out a letter to encourage a skating center near by to adopt the program.


There are many little ways to enlarge your child’s world. Love of books is the best of all.

–Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis


Do you like these suggestions? Do you have any others you would like to add? Please let me know in the comments below.


Also published on Medium.

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