Stop the Summer Slide: 10 Free Summer Reading Programs

After a long year of school, most kids just want to kick back and relax. Many parents, however, want to stop the summer slide and have their kids read for at least 20 minutes a day. While some kids naturally love to read, others need a little incentive.

Luckily, many companies offer summer reading programs that can help kids maintain their reading skills AND motivate them by giving kids a free book or some other incentive. See if you can entice your reluctant reader to read several books this summer using one or more of these summer reading programs:

  1. Barnes & Noble Summer Reading Program : Read 8 books, fill out a reading log, and get a free book (from a preselected list). The reading log must be completed by and the prize redeemed between July 1, 2021 and August 31, 2021.

  2. Sylvan's Book Adventure : Students read books from a designated list and then take an online quiz. If they get the quiz right, they win virtual prizes.

  3. TD Bank Summer Reading Program: Read 10 books, fill out the reading log, and get $10 to put in the child's Young Saver's account. (This offer is good for new or existing accounts.)

  4. Showcase Cinemas Bookworm Wednesday : Read a book a week, fill out a book report form, and see the kids' movie showing every Wednesday morning for free.

  5. Chuck E. Cheese Reading Rewards : Kids read every day for two weeks and fill out their reading log. Then bring it to Chuck E. Cheese and get 10 free Play Points.

  6. The Good and The Beautiful Summer Reading Program : Pay 99 cents, and have a book shipped to your child as well as 2 bookmarks and a reading chart with stickers. When your child completes the challenge, give them the book The Good and Beautiful shipped.

  7. Half Price Books Summer Reading Camps : Log your time spent reading, and earn digital rewards for Half Price Books. Plus, get access to printable activities. 

  8. Pizza Hut Book-It Program : Digitally keep track of your child’s reading by June 30, July 31, and August 30. If they meet their monthly reading goal, they will earn a free personal pan pizza!

  9. Veritas Press Summer Reading Contest - Have your children read books for their reading level, then fill out the form to be entered to win prizes up to $150 in value. The first 250 kids to read their goal in each age division get a $10 Veritas press gift card.

  10. Local Library: Don't forget to also check your local library. Where we used to live, our local library had a reading challenge, and the top 25 readers get a special prize. My son was one of the top readers, one year, and the library treated him and 24 other kids to a pizza and bowling party! Our current library offers a free book when kids complete the challenge.

Help prevent the summer slide and keep your kids interested in reading with some of these great 2021 year summer reading programs.

Bonus tip: Write down every book your child reads in a reading journal. Not only can this documentation be used for any mandated homeschool records in your state, but they can be added to a child’s portfolio for future credit in Literature courses.

Did you know that Patrick Henry College , for example, requires a reading list of top books read in the high school years as part of the application process? Why not make your summer reading program twice as valuable!

If you know of any other summer reading programs not mentioned here, please list them in the comments!