Skip the Summer Slide with these Free & Fun Summer Reading Programs

By Jenny Sites June 13, 2024

While studying for my psychology and elementary education degrees I did a research project about "The Summer Slide".   "The Summer Slide" is a phrase used to explain learning loss over a period of time, in this case, summer break, in which your child stops using their reading and learning skills on a regular basis. During that time period, those skills deteriorate,  causing children to have to play catch-up when school resumes.  Skip the Summer Slide this year and keep them reading all summer with these great Summer Reading Programs!

Image Credit:  Jupiterimages, Brand X Pictures from Photo Images

Summer Reading Programs are a great way to entice your child to read because they can win fun prizes!  We have put together a list of great summer reading programs for you to check out for yourselves:

1.  Central Rappahannock Regional Library

Dates: May 15 - August 15, 2024

Program Details: Sign up through the CRRL and complete online challenges. Earn points for each minute that you read and be entered to win prizes.

2. Books-A-Million

Dates: June - August, 2024 (while supplies last)

Program Details: Print out your Summer Reading Adventure book log here.  Log your books and take the log to your local BAM and claim your prize!

3. Barnes and Noble

Dates: July 1 - August 31, 2024

Program Details: Print out a Summer Reading Journal (English or Spanish) for your child. They can record the Title & Author of the book, plus write a sentence about their favorite part of the book.  Turn in a complete journal and they can pick out a free book from the list!

4. Camp BOOK IT!

Dates: June - August, 2024

Program Details: Ages 4-12 can sign up for this program and track your child's reading from June through August. Once they meet their goal they will get an email with a certificate for a personal pan pizza!

5. HPA Summer Reading Camp

Dates: June 1 - August, 2024

Program Details: Register your child to give them access to printable summer reading logs and earn $5 "Bookworm Bucks" in June and July.

6. Scholastic Summer Reading

Dates: April 26 - September 3, 2024

Program details: Read free e-books and print reading achievement reports.

7. Chuck E. Cheese

Dates: Now through 12/31/25

Program Details: Download the Readings Reward Calendar (English or Spanish). Once they complete 14 books, take the sheet to your local Chuck E. Cheese for 10 free Play Points.

8. Sonlight Summer Reading Challenge Kit

Program Details: Print the free downloadable Summer Reading Kit for reading activities to complete throughout the summer. It also includes a sheet to record books read. While this program doesn't offer a reward, you can make up your own reward as a family.

9. Dolly Parton's Imagination Library

Receive free books from the DPIL for children ages 0-5 years old. This program is good year round but you must fill out information online or mail an application. 

10. Audiofile: 

Free audiobooks geared towards teens.

Photo Credit:  Erika Patten-Miller

Your children work hard at school for 9 months, so help them keep that knowledge with summer reading!