Finding Summer Reading Programs

This summer, encourage your children to join a summer reading program in your community. Engaging in this could help students retain and improve their reading skills. You want the slides on playgrounds and at waterparks to be the only slides they experience this vacation, not the summer slide associated with a loss in learning. Look for the summer reading programs available to your readers today. Keep reading to learn helpful tips to get you started on your search.

Selecting a Program

Your child needs an age appropriate program that also matches his or her reading skill. Summer reading programs generally group their participants by either age or grade. The programs for toddlers and beginning readers involve parents by having them read to—and along—with their children. Older children and teens are usually expected to read on their own.

The location of the summer reading program may be an important factor that must be considered before joining. Local libraries are the go-to choice for most when it is a minimal distance from one's residence. Be sure to factor in how frequently you will need to make the trip. Of course, participants will need to check out reading material. Plus, some programs will schedule special events that your children won't want to miss. If the distance is too great for you to travel to a library, then the Internet may have a solution for you. Search your favorite e-book providers and mail-order sites to see if they have organized a summer reading program. For example, Barnes and Noble has devised a summer reading program of its own. Kids in grades first through sixth can earn a free book by meeting reading goals over break. Books-A-Million is also offering reading incentives during this summer vacation. Those who read four books from the store's reading challenge list can earn a water bottle.

Don't rule out creating your own program either. You can involve your family, friends, and neighbors. Together, you can decide what and how much to read. What books would you want to share with others? Use these titles in determining how the program will be organized. Like the library's summer reading program, yours can foster relationships among readers, too.

Understanding the Program

In general, summer reading program participants are given a target number of books to read. Parents may need to help their children find time to read. Make it a habit to schedule in reading time so that the children can reach the goals of the summer reading program. Once a reader reaches a milestone, he or she may be awarded a prize or be invited to a special event. Participants keep a reading log in which they record the titles they have completed. The titles may be required or suggested by the program, or the reader may make the decision on what to read by himself or herself. Still, there may be parameters that limit the selection.

In one approach, the program may focus on a particular theme. Not only are the materials for reading grounded in the theme, but so are the special events on the summer reading program. The events may range from celebrations with treats to special demonstrations from members in the community. Book discussions may be held, too. These discussions can help the children to form relationships with others and with reading. Such an activity can bring insight to readers when they hear others discuss their experiences with a book.

Other programs may require participants to form a stratagem. Reading logs can be more complex than a list of books that have been read. Some logs are more like game boards. In one case, a bingo-like log replaces the bingo numbers with directions on what to read: a book by an American author, a poem about nature, a short story with animal characters, a non-fiction selection, and a story told in first-person narration may be what is needed for a bingo that will entitle the reader to a prize or reward. Since the “Free” space is available, readers could plan to read just four books to get a bingo. Once the log has been turned in, participants may choose to play again and continue reading.

Another popular program uses a map of the United States instead of a bingo board for a reading log. Here, readers journey throughout the United States by reading stories set in different states. How many must be read to cross the entire country? A variation of this uses a world map for a reading log that transports readers to every continent. Even if readers don't travel during this vacation, they can use the stories to travel across the world.