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Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Tips on Tuesday: Summer Reading

Do you remember the Summer Reading Club when you were a kid? I remember reading all summer long to earn a medal from the March of Dimes (read-a-thon they no longer do) and a coupon for a pan pizza at Pizza Hut.

Well, times have changed. If you know how to play the game, your children can get a plethora of free stuff just for reading books this summer. Check with your local library for details, but start soon--most libraries and other reading clubs for children run from June 1-July 31. I've put all the offers I've found below. Enjoy!

Half-Price Books is running a program from June 1--July 31. The "Feed your Brain" program requires kids to read a minimum of 15 minutes per day for five out of seven days. Take the completed log form into Half Price Books and receive a $3 shopping card. You can turn in one log per child per week throughout the promotion.

Borders has a Kids Reading Challenge that is not free, but offers a 50% (or more) discount on select items. Ages 12 & Under can read 8 books, put them on the log and turn in at your local Borders store for select items at a big discount. In the fine print, the selected items are all $4.99. Might not be totally free, but a few of them look well worth the $4.99. And since the eight book requirement isn't any hardship since we're reading daily, we are going to do this one. This program goes through August 31, so you have a little additional time.

Barnes and Noble has a Summer Reading program where you read 8 books and earn a free book. This program goes through September 7. Just be aware that this one requires the most work--which is very minimal. After downloading and printing the Summer Reading Journal, you write down your favorite part of each story.

The B&N offer is limited to school aged children in grades 1-6.

If you hear of any other reading programs, let me know. My kids love to cash in on their summer reading. And studies show that just 15 minutes a day of reading helps children retain much of what they learned over the past school year. It also helps their reading skills to improve and encourages a life-long love of reading.

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