Ready. Set. Read. Online Summer Reading Programs For Children 2013

Children's Collection
Children’s Collection (Photo credit: ..tanja..)

Our library hosts a wonderful summer reading program. After a certain amount of hours, the children earn a small prize with the final gift being their very own book.

A neighbor 3rd Grader told me he had already completed the entire reading program! Didn’t summer just start? So what reading program can keep this child’s interest, I wondered.

With that in mind, I offer you a number of national summer reading programs your little readers can participate in.

PBS Kids

Partnering with PBS Kids, is hosting a DIY Summer Reading Camp. Parents can use the online resources for 10 weeks of hands-on activities and learning resources through Aug. 9. You could even win a Kindle for your child! For more details and to participate, click here.

Barnes and Noble

Your child can earn a free book through your local Barnes and Noble with its online reading program. If your child reads eight books and brings in the completed reading journal, your kid can choose a free book from the books noted on B&N’s Reading Journal. For more details and to participate, click here.


Read any six books on their summer reading form and children can turn in the form for a free backpack. For more details and to participate, click here.

Half Price Books

The Half Price Books summer reading program for kids 14 and under is giving out free Half Price Books gift cards to kids who read for at least 300 minutes through July 31. For more details and to participate, click here.


Scholastic is hosting a summer challenge. Kids log in their reading minutes online and can earn digital rewards. Children can even participate in Scholastic’s aim to set a new world record in reading. For more details and to participate, click here.

Sylvan Learning

Sylvan Learning sponsors a Book Adventure reading program year round. Kids read books, take quizzes and then turn in the points they earn for prizes. For more details and to participate, click here.

Chuck E. Cheese

Children who read each day for two weeks can earn 10 free tokens at Chuck E. Cheese. This program goes year round . For more details and to participate, click here.

Pottery Barn Kids

Pottery Barn Kids has created reading lists your child can complete over the summer. Bring the completed Pottery Barn Summer Reading Challenge reading list back to Pottery Barn Kids by Aug. 26, 2013 and present it to an employee to receive a free book. Also, you can then enter to win a backpack full of books for your child. For more details and to participate, click here.

BJU Press

Children who complete the required reading goals earn a free prize while supplies last. Parents will be given the opportunity to enter their family to win a free Kindle Fire. Click here for more information and to participate.

Department of Defense

Huh? The Department of Defense? That’s right. Children of military families can participate in the Department of Defense’s summer reading program at bases and military installations worldwide. For more information and to participate, click here.


iVillage and Sprout are teaming up to bring you a summer reading community challenge. Now through July 23, you can get daily emails with literacy-building tips, games and activities ideas, printables and crafts. You also get the chance to win prizes. For more information and to participate, click here.

Pizza Hut

Pizza Hut is hosting a summer reading program; however, the program website hasn’t been launched yet. To get a heads up when the program goes live, click here.

Local Public Libraries

Public libraries often have the best reading programs over the summer. Check out your local library to find out what kind of reading programs they have. Click here to find your local library.

Create Your Own

Why not create a specialized reading program for your kiddo. Set up an incentive chart geared toward your child that will inspire him or her to read. Need some ideas of where to start? Visit Random House’s reading programs for teachers and librarians. Click here.


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