So, here's an idea. Run a Summer Reading Club! Offer kids free books - or prizes - when they successfully;
a. Complete a predetermined number of books, or pages or amount of time
b. Answer questions about the books they read OR write a review OR tell someone about the book
c. Attend programs in your place of business
d. Complete a scavenger hunt OR a puzzle OR find a hidden object
e. Do all or any combination of the above.
So, who runs these Summer Reading Clubs? Public Libraries! I said, PUBLIC LIBRARIES! Bookstores! (Like the Moravian Book Shop) (Click on these links to learn more about their summer reading clubs.) Publishers! Those three make sense. Some school districts run reading clubs. Tutoring centers run reading centers. Here are a few of the more well-known Summer Reading Clubs.
Sylvan Learning Centers run BookAdventure. (Check out the snazzy buccaneer dinosaur and dog!) Sylvan has produced quizzes on recommended books. And quiz taking is part of the club's requirements. Sylvan boasts that they have quizzes for close to 8000 books so you should find something you or your young reader like..
Barnes and Noble Booksellers have run Summer Reading Clubs for years. This year's theme, Imagination's Destination, dovetails nicely with the Collaborative Summer Library Program's theme of Dream Big - Read (The Public library program). Barnes and Noble just asks that readers in grades 1 through 6 to read and record a set number of books. It's easy!
Scholastic Books asks kids - or teachers - to log their time spent reading. Word Girl is the mascot this year and Scholastic offers certificates, activities, booklists and more. Check it out.
PBSKids has partnered with other organizations to provide Reading Programs - like the Soar with Reading program sponsored by PBSKids and JetBlue. Join to earn prizes AND to donate books to needy children around the USA.
iVillage has joined with PBSKids to provide their own Summer Reading Challenge. Click here for more information. The program offers daily email tips for increasing your child's literacy skills. This is a great program for parents of "emerging" readers.
BTW, I wondered if Amazon.com offered a Summer Reading Program and a simple search only offered me a chance to buy a book. Hmmm. I guess brick and mortar stores care more about the literacy of their future customers than online merchants. If I am wrong, please send me the link to Amazon's Summer Reading program. I promise to post it here.