Great Reading Incentive Programs

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Right about now, my guess is that everyone in your house has finally recovered from the school year, had a bit of fun, and is now entering the stir-crazy portion of the summer.

Oh, yes, mama, you still have several weeks left before those little cherubs stop asking for ideas on what to do every seven minutes and your home finally returns to peace, quiet, and routine after they head back into the classroom.

Need an idea for sneaking a few hours of bliss for yourself before that date arrives?

A reading incentive just might do the trick!

Perfect for obvious bookworms, but also great for those reluctant readers who might be more interested in picking up a book if it can be whatever they want to read and they get something as a prize at the end of it!

Libraries & Schools

Start by finding out what your local library has to offer - and don't be afraid to check up on any challenges the neighborhood schools are running, either.

We all know how easy it is for things sent home from school (like summer reading program announcements) to make their way into the trash instead of your hands at the end of a school year!


Barnes & Noble stores run a program each year - I think somewhere I read that children have to be in at least Kindergarten to participate, but after speaking to a store representative, I learned that participants can be any age and it's just that the free book rewards are geared for ages 5 and up.  

(So, no board books, but I'm sure you can find a great read-aloud to choose from - after all, you'll be reading books aloud to your kids in order for them to earn a prize in the first place!)


If you haven't heard of these fun kits before, click on over to this post to read all about them - then let your little ones pick out a few to work on over the summer!


It's no surprise that this brainy organization has a program to encourage reading, but what you probably don't know is that anyone can participate in it.

That's right, you don't even need to be a member!

And your kids don't even need to be able to read by themselves!

And this is an ongoing program, not just for the summer!

All the details are here, but the rules basically consist of printing out an appropriate book list (full of titles your children are most likely reading already), reading and rating the books, then mailing the completed form in to get a completion certificate and a free T-shirt.

1000 Books Before Kindergarten

Finally, for the smallest members of your crew, there's the 1000 Books Before Kindergarten program.  This non-profit initiative hopes to reach the goal of exposing children to at least 1,000 books by the time they begin school.

You'll have to click on over here to read all the details and see if there is a program in your area (that gives out goodies as rewards) but regardless, you can print out free logs from the site to record every book you read to your child over the years and if you fill the entire thing up, you'll have read them 1,000 books by the time you've reached the end!

That would be a pretty nifty addition to a baby book, in my mind!

So if your sanity is slipping out the open back door along with all the air conditioning this summer, think about checking into one of these fun incentive programs to route those readers back to the books.

And buy yourself a little peace and quiet until that school bell starts a-ringing again in the fall! 

Do you know of any other reading incentive programs in your area?  I'd love to hear about them, and I'm sure other readers would love extra choices, as well!  Either leave a comment below or email me at lisahealy (at) outlook (dot) com.

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