Rad Reads

Want to read more this summer? These programs can help

While you wait for your state to reopen, there’s no better time than summer to catch up on your reading. Yes, you likely just finished (or are about to finish) your school year, but summer reads are all about exploring outside your curriculum — from addictive YA novels to compelling nonfiction. The best part? There are programs out there to help you stay accountable and encourage you to read more this summer. Here are a few to look into before getting lost in your next book.

Local Library Programs
Many local libraries across America run summer reading programs for everyone from children to adults. Every program is different, but most include a list of recommended reads for different age and grade levels, a worksheet you can use to track what you read, and resources to learn more about your favorite books and authors. While the global pandemic might have put a halt to the in-person activities these programs offer, many libraries still have summer reading resources on their websites and are hoping to begin curbside book pickup in the coming months.

Scholastic Summer Read-A-Palooza
Running from May 4th through September 4th, Scholastic’s Summer Read-A-Palooza is run through an interactive app called Home Base. The app encourages users to create ‘reading streaks’ by logging in every day to check in at the ‘Summer Zone’ within the app. You can add the titles of books you’re reading, and log the minutes you read each day. Keeping up your reading streak will unlock a donation of 100,000 new children’s books to locations that need them most.

‘Read to Ride’ Programs
Annual ‘Read to Ride’ (or ‘Read & Ride’) programs give students the chance to earn free rides at state and county fairs, or win bikes to ride. One program that I participated in growing up is hosted by Cal Expo, and offers two free rides at the CA State Fair & Food Festival in 2021. Other states like Maine and Montana have their own programs, though you might have to wait on participating in some of them until the summer of 2021 due to COVID-19-related cancellations.

Brightly’s Summer Reading Challenges
Brightly is a Penguin Random House company that offers resources to help parents “raise kids who love to read”. One of their posts features reading challenges for a wide variety of age groups, including teens and tweens. While it’s not as interactive as some other programs, the reading suggestions provided by the challenge are broad, making them a great starting-point when compiling your summer reading list.

The B&N Summer Reading Journal
If you’re in grade six (or below), you can earn a *free* book from Barnes & Noble. What do you have to do? Read eight books, log them in a reading journal, write about which was your fave and why, and bring it to a participating store. Older students can check out the various ‘100 Books of Summer’ reading lists on the Barnes & Noble website to help guide their reading this summer, though unfortunately they’re not eligible to earn a free book.

by Bailey Bujnosek | 6/15/2020