Win Prizes: Awesome Summer Reading Programs in Atlanta
With all of the programs and incentives in metro Atlanta, reading during the summer can be fun. In fact, kids can meet goals that will earn prizes. Need book ideas? See what made the cut for our favorite books. Here are some activity books we love. Also a list of local bookstores to explore their websites this summer.
Atlanta Hawks’ Check It Out Reading Challenge: Students in grades K-12 who successfully read at least five books will receive: a Check it Out Reading Challenge bookmark and a free youth ticket with the purchase of at least one adult ticket to a 2020-21 Atlanta Hawks regular season game.
Atlanta Public Libraries: This year’s summer reading theme is “Imagine Your Story” to help inspire children to dream big, believe in themselves and create their own story. Local public libraries provide online resources, and the Georgia Public Library Service is providing online access to Beanstack to all 408 public libraries. With Beanstack, track reading, participate in challenges and engage in literacy activities. Check your local library for virtual programs in June and July.
Barnes & Noble’s Summer Reading Journal: Download and print a free copy of this journal for your kids in grades 1-6. Read any eight books this summer and record them in the journal, along with your favorite part. Take it into your local Barnes & Noble between July 1-Aug. 31 for a free book (the list of options is included in the journal).
Books-A-Million: With reading ambassador Dav Pilkey, read any four books from the Summer Reading Adventure section in-stores and online and record them in the Summer Reading Adventure Log Book to receive a free Dog Man logo baseball cap.
Chuck E Cheese: Get 10 free tokens for reading for two weeks. Be sure to take a look at the other rewards charts to keep your kids on track all summer long. Kids are limited to one chart per child, per day.
Half-Price Books: The “Feed Your Brain Summer Reading Program” is going virtual. Soon, they’ll have reading logs, online storytimes and weekly giveaways. For now, check out book recommendations and free printable coloring sheets.
Little Shop of Stories: With “Greetings from Elsewhere,” escape and go on brand new journeys with books. When you purchase the Summer Reading Package, you’ll receive three books, a bingo challenge sheet and five postcards. After you finish a book, send or drop off the post card, and once you’ve sent all five, you’ll get a bag of goodies, including a free book and a $10 Little Shop gift card. Registration begins at 10 a.m. on June 1.
Mayor’s Summer Reading Club: The program designates a city-wide book choice for infants and for children ages 2-5 to share with families at no cost to them. Throughout the summer, libraries, museums, farmers’ markets and other institutions in Atlanta will hold “book club reads” and enrichment events based on the stories. 2020 book selections include “In the West End” and “Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site.”
Pizza Hut BOOKIT! Program: The school program runs October 1 through March 31 each year, but you can do a version at home this summer. Sign up for weekly emails with summer reading activities.
Wrapped Up in Reading: The Carlos Museum’s annual summer reading program encourages children to maintain their reading skills, and the book list allows kids to learn about civilizations from around the world. Children who read five books from the Summer 2020 Book List and email their completed Reading Diary signed by a parent by Sept. 1 will receive prizes. Since the Carlos Museum is closed to the public until further notice due to COVID-19, families may not be able to visit the museum over the summer to pick up their prizes as in the past; instead, prizes will be mailed to you.
Book Adventure: The online book club allows kids to log-in, choose books and then select prizes after successfully taking quizzes. Parents get a separate log-in for checking on their kids and to help choose books that are age-appropriate.
Junie B. Jones: The Kids’ Club includes a newsletter about new books, fun printables, games and special activities.
Magic Tree House Kids’ Adventure Club: Earn rewards for the pages read of “Magic Tree House” books, take quizzes, collect online passport stamps and more.
Scholastic Summer Read-a-Palooza: Kids can enter their summer reading minutes online until Sept. 4. Kids can build their own avatars, make new friends, earn virtual rewards and unlock donations for kids with limited or no access to books. Start and keep reading streaks by reading every day over the summer.
Tips for Reluctant Readers:
- Don’t get stuck on making your kids read for educational purposes. Incorporate activities that go along with what your children are into. If they’re visiting outer space in a book, make a fun, messy papier-mâché craft of the solar system, or watch a space movie. Camp outside and incorporate stargazing (search online for when planets are visible in the night sky).
- Start early. Read to your children when they are small to promote family time, word recognition and comprehension, and maybe, just maybe, a love of books. Whenever possible, read in such a way that the book scenes and characters come alive. Or try audio books, which usually have a dynamic reader.
- Get books on subjects they’re already into. Does your child love superheroes, princesses, dinosaurs, tea parties or a cartoon character? Use that to help you find books that he or she is more likely to want to read. Take children to the library or bookstore, letting them browse and choose what they would like to have.
- Schedule time around activities to sit down and share a book or read different books, but in the same room. Family-wide quiet time is often a rarity, but it doesn’t have to be if you put it on the calendar. Turn off all electronics and unplug for awhile.