Atlanta parents can encourage their children to read this summer with reading programs. Reading is its own reward, but many organizations and companies offer an incentive to make summer reading all the more fun for your children. Educators say regular reading is the most important thing you can encourage to keep your kids' minds sharp. Even better, you can instill a life-long love of reading - and what's better than reading on the beach, in a hammock, or by the pool?
If you are interested in the research side of children's reading, here's a great overview. Study after study shows children from all backgrounds score higher on tests and show comprehension and vocabulary gains if they read 5-6 books during the summer. And you don't need to fill up your Amazon cart to reap the benefits: use of public libraries strongly correlates to school success and reading proficiency.
Most libraries have reading programs in the summer. Kids set a goal, track the number of books they read, and sometimes get a prize at the end. Libraries often have fun events for kids to supplement the reading programs. For example, Forsyth County's theme is "One World, Many Stories." They have storytellers, puppeteers, and musicians scheduled to come, as well as special events for middle-schoolers and teens.
Scholastic has an online program for elementary school-aged kids with quizzes, games, prizes, and competitions. The theme is "Read for the Record" - kids attempt to set the world record for number of minutes read. Schools can participate, and the top twenty schools earn special recognition. Each week children can earn digital prizes, play games, and do activities on the Scholastic site.
There's a separate tracking program for families with younger children.
Don't miss the links for parents - they have great ideas about raising a reader, books kids love, parent/child book clubs, and more.
Sylvan's online program is a free motivational tool for kids in grades K-8. They can track their reading, take quizzes, and earn points and prizes.
Barnes and Noble gives kids a free book once they read eight books and write about them in a reading journal. You can download the paperwork at the link, or you can go to Barnes and Noble to pick up a packet. The website has more activities and tips for kids and parents.
Borders has a program called Double Dog Dare! Download the worksheet, track at least ten books, and bring the worksheet to Borders for a free book.
Books-A-Million is running a Junie B. Jones reading program. Get a form from participating locations, read four books by August 1, and get a Junie B. Jones backpack.
At Little Shop of Stories in Decatur, kids can track the hours they spend reading. For the first 30 hours, they can get free prizes from local shops. If they read 40 hours, they can attend a special pizza party. The top three readers will earn extra prizes.
Chuck E. Cheese has incentive calendars on their website, and one of them is a reading tracker. Once kids fill up the two-week calendar, they can bring it to Chuck E. Cheese for 10 free tokens. Incidentally, there are lots of other tracker calendars, including ones to help with thumb-sucking, pottytraining, manners, and homework!
Hebuddy is offering a free t-shirt when kids read 10 books this summer. Just track the books on the downloadable list and mail it in by October 1. In 3-4 weeks, your child receives a free t-shirt.