Next to the benefits of playing and swimming all day long, reading is just about the most important thing kids can do this summer. Plus digging into a great book under a sun umbrella, preferably poolside, is one of the joys of the season. A number of summer reading programs for kids help keep the learning going over the next few months, allowing them to earn free goodies along the way. Here are our picks for the best summer reading programs for kids.

1. Barnes & Noble

Barnes & Noble Summer Reading program for kids logo

Kids can earn a FREE book after they read eight books and log them on the downloadable reading journal. The Barnes and Noble kids’ summer reading program is only available to students in grades 1–6. Only one book is available for each child who completes a reading journal, and the choice must be made from the selected books available at the store. Download the B&N 2022 Summer Reading Journal today!

Learn more: RIF Summer Reading Road Trip

 

2. Chuck E. Cheese

Chuck E. Cheese logo

With the Chuck E. Cheese kids’ summer reading program, kids earn 10 FREE points each time they read for two weeks in a row. Complete the form to claim the free tokens. A food purchase is required.

Learn more: Chuck E. Cheese Kids’ Summer Reading Program

3. Reading is Fundamental

Reading is Fundamental logo

Soar with reading while summer is out with Reading Is Fundamental, the nation’s largest children’s literacy non-profit. From RIF reading lists and a collection of free ebooks to interactive materials on Literacy Central and a brand new Literacy Central app, RIF helps kids master the reading skills they need to succeed. This summer, RIF is inviting children across the nation to set off on a virtual reading road trip.

Learn more: RIF Summer Reading Road Trip

4. Half Price Books

HPB Summer Reading Camp logo

The Half Price Books kids’ summer reading program, a.k.a. ‘Summer Reading Camp,’ hosts gift card giveaways on social media for kids who read for at least 300 minutes during the months of June and July. The online summer reading program website also features printable coloring sheets, online storytimes, and mystery book recommendations for ages ranging from preschool to teens.

Learn more: Half Price Books Summer Reading Camp

5. Public Libraries

Check your local library for more free kids summer reading programs with activities and incentives for all ages. Most libraries also have storytimes and other reading-themed activities.

Learn more: Collaborative Summer Library Program 

6. Junie B. Kids Club

With over 60 million books sold, the bestselling Junie B. Jones series is a classroom favorite that has been keeping kids laughing–and reading–for over 20 years. Sign up for the Junie B. Jones Reading Club and your kid will stay connected with all things Junie B.! Expect monthly updates about fun new activities, events, sweepstakes, and more.

Learn more: Junie B. Kids Club

7. Professional Sports Teams

Many professional sports teams sponsor summer reading programs, including the Tampa Bay Rays and the Chicago Fire FC. Check with your local team to see if they offer a similar program.

Learn more: Reading With the Rays and Chicago Fire Kids’ Club

8. Scholastic

Scholastic Summer Reading Home Base logo with Clifford the Big Red Dog

Scholastic has a an online summer reading program that challenges kids to go online and record the minutes they read. This year, kids can build an avatar, make new friends, earn virtual rewards, and help unlock donations for kids with limited or no access to books. All you need to do is sign up and keep a “reading streak” in Scholastic Home Base over the summer!

Learn more: Scholastic Read-a-Palooza

9. H-E-B

H-E-Buddy Summer Reading Club logo with illustration of cihldren reading books

The H-E-Buddy Summer Reading Club, sponsored by H.E.B. grocery stores, rewards a special prize to each child who reads 10 books this summer.

Learn more: H-E-Buddy Summer Reading Club

10. Sync

Sync AudoFile, Free listens all summer long

Sync has a summer reading program just for teens that will give them two free audiobooks each week this summer. Perfect for both on-the-go and on the couch reading. Each week they offer a current YA book as well as a classic title that teens will be able to download for free through the SORA /OverDrive app.

Learn more: Sync Summer Audiobook Program for Teens

11. Books-A-Million

Summer Reading Adventure with Kate DiCamillo and Percy Watson

Kids can get a free Because of Winn-Dixie notepad and pen with the Books-A-Million summer reading program! This year’s summer reading adventure is led by children’s book author and literacy advocate Kate DiCamillo. Start off by reading four of the 75+ qualified books. Then they fill out a journal to show their progress and return it to any Books-A-Million store.

Learn more: Books-a-Million Summer Reading Adventure

12. BOOK IT

"Welcome to Camp BOOK IT!" on wooden background with BOOK IT Summer Reading logo with includes illustration of desert with cactus

Join BOOK IT summer camp to encourage reading all summer long. Track kids’ reading for the summer months in their digital dashboard. If they meet their monthly reading goal, kids then receive a free Personal Pan Pizza from Pizza Hut!

Learn more: Camp BOOK IT

13. Showcase Cinemas

Showcase Cinemas Bookworm Wednesdays summer reading program for kids

Read a book and earn a ticket for a free summer flick! Kids can earn free admission to a select children’s film when they present a book report at a participating Showcase Cinemas box office.

Learn more: Showcase Cinemas Bookworm Wednesdays

What kids’ summer reading programs have we missed? Come and share in our WeAreTeachers HELPLINE group on Facebook.

Looking for a great summer read? Check out our list of Best Summer Reading Books for Teachers.

Plus, check out these scratch-off reading challenges and free, downloadable bookmarks.