2014 Summer Reading Programs

summer reading with logo

“Life’s a journey. Make sure you pack enough books.” -Author Unknown

Let the world of books take you and your children on an exciting journey this summer!

As a former educator, the number one question I was asked by the parents of my students was, “What can I do to help my child in school?” The answer is simple–make reading a priority. It’s important even during the summer months. A child’s ability to read affects all areas of their life!  Studies have shown that children who have had books readily available and accessible to them at an early age become better students.  Studies have also shown that children who have been read to during the early years of their lives perform better in school–both academically and socially.  It is such a simple answer to such a valid question, but reading truly is a vital component to a child’s success.

As a mother who reads daily to my kids, I’ve seen seen stories bring smiles, foster creativity, and build memories within my own home.  The times that I curl up with my children to enjoy a good book are such precious times.  Reading with your child not only promotes their development, but also provides an opportunity to spend quality time together.

Encourage your child to read this summer. Sit down, relax, and enjoy a book with them. And take advantage of some of these wonderful summer reading incentive programs!

Happy reading!

Barnes & Noble

Overview: Print and fill out the reading log. Once the child has read 8 books, they earn a FREE book of their choice from a list of about 20 selections.

Ages: Free Books are age appropriate for Grades 1-6

*You can also sign your child up for the Barnes & Nobel Kids’ Club to receive a welcome gift of 30% off a kids’ book or toy, $5 off for every $100 spent in the store or online, and a free cupcake from the cafe’ for their birthday.

Book Adventure

Overview: This site is a free online incentive program. Your child can search for books, read them offline, and take online quizzes to earn prizes.

Ages: Children in grade K-8


Overview: Read six books from their Summer Reading List, complete the form on their site, and turn it in for a FREE backpack.

Ages: No age specification

Chuck E. Cheese’s

Overview: Print off the reading calendar (or other rewards calendar), fill it out, and redeem it for FREE tokens.

Ages: No age specification

Knox County Public Library

Overview: Print off the appropriate reading log and fill it out. Children and teens receive a rewards coupon book and prize when they turn in their reading log. Adults receive a library tote bag.

Ages: Listeners (babies and younger children who are not reading independently), Readers (children under 12 who are reading independently), Teens, and Adults

*Surrounding Library Systems: Blount County Public Library, Clinton Public Library (begins June 1), Norris Community Library, Sevier County Public Library, Tellico Village Public Library


Overview: This site has partnered with PBS Kids to bring you suggestions for creating your own 10-week reading camp. Each week follows a different theme.

Ages: All ages

Half Price Books

Overview: Children either read independently or have a grown-up read with them for 15 minutes each day. Once 300 minutes have been logged, the are rewarded with HPB Bookworm Bucks.

Ages: 14 and under

PBS Kids

Overview: This site contains tips and resources for encouraging your child to read and instilling a life-long love of books in your child.

Ages: Baby-3rd Grade

Pizza Hut

Overview: There are reading logs, online games, reading activity calendars, prizes, and more–all to encourage kids to read during the summer months!

Ages: No age specification


Overview: This is an online reading incentive program where children can log the minutes they spend reading, earn virtual rewards, and enter sweepstakes.

Ages: No age specification

Smokies Baseball

Overview: Complete various reading requirements to receive Smokies tickets, Shoney’s prizes/coupons, ticket to the Knoxville Zoo and more!

Ages: Children who are both listeners (not reading independently) and readers (reading independently) can participate.

Have your children participated in any of these programs? Have they read any good books lately? What’s your favorite story to read with your children? We’d love to hear for you!

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7 Responses to 2014 Summer Reading Programs

  1. Natalie
    Natalie June 18, 2014 at 8:21 am #

    Thanks for sharing these Jennifer! I really want my boys to love to read as much as I do! 🙂

    • Jennifer Dawn
      Jennifer Dawn June 18, 2014 at 9:32 am #

      I love that you said that because the key really is to share and foster a love of books and reading. Programs like these are just one many ways to accomplish that goal.

  2. Heather June 18, 2014 at 12:25 pm #

    We use Book Adventure as a kind of pre-test when the kids have to take an AR test at school. I hate Accelerated Reader, but that’s a whole different story. Book Adventure is a great way to check comprehension.

    • Jennifer Dawn
      Jennifer Dawn June 19, 2014 at 8:44 am #

      That’s a great idea! To be honest, I was never a huge fan of Accelerated Reader either, so I understand your feelings about it. A lot of schools in Knox County are no longer using that program including my former school. If it did motivate a student in my class to read, I encourage them to use the program. For others, I found what worked best for them. Finding what motivates each child to read is the key.

  3. lauren June 18, 2014 at 5:43 pm #

    this is great! thanks for the list. i’m not an avid reader but know it’s so important and want my kids to love reading! we will check some of these out this summer.


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