Free Reading Programs {Summer 2019}


Reading a book, there is no better way to start off the summer!

Now is the perfect time to dive into summer reading. Whether it is reading during playtime or enjoying that last story before bed, reading has always been a big part of our daily routine. One of my favorite things as a parent is watching the excitement on my girls’ faces when we read together! We have a Kindergarten graduate who has found a love for chapter books, and a 3-year-old who loves to “read” to her babies.

I encourage you to incorporate reading into your summer routine. If you are expecting, have a toddler, or have school-aged children, the memories that are created from reading will be ones that you will cherish forever. Reading over the summer will also help kids maintain and increase their reading and learning skills. It is a win-win for everyone involved!

Some of the best summer reading programs are at your local public library. Every public library has a different summer reading program, but almost all of them have rewards and prizes for kids as well as fun events and story times. Be sure to check out programs offered at your local library. There are also book stores, restaurants, and other businesses that have created programs to help make reading a part of your summer routine. Check out the links below to find the best fit for your children. You can even pick a few, as there is no such thing as too much reading!

The Lane Libraries – Summer Reading Program

The Cincinnati Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County – Summer Learning

Midpointe Library – Super Summer

Collaborative Summer Library Program 

Mason Public Library Summer Reading Program

Kenton County Library


In addition to the local libraries, here are some other programs you can check out for the summer of 2019!

Chuck E. Cheese
At Chuck E. Cheese, your child can fill out a Reading Rewards Calendar and bring it in for ten free tokens after two weeks of daily reading. FYI: A food purchase is required in order to use the free tokens. Added bonus: There are rewards calendars available for a variety of accomplishments (brushing teeth, potty training & no nose picking)! This program is ongoing for all ages.

Pizza Hut: Book It! Ignite a Summer of Reading!
This was one of my favorite reading programs when I was in elementary school (we won’t discuss how long ago that was…). Get your child involved (grades K-6) and earn reading reward certificates for a free, one-topping, personal pan pizza. Enrollment is now open, but it is through your local school, so be sure to visit the link above for details. There is a homeschool enrollment option as well!

Sylvan – Book Adventure
Sylvan’s program encourages children (grades K-8) to read books and then take online quizzes to earn points. The points can be redeemed for prizes like books, magazine subscriptions, tattoos, candy, CD’s, and games. Good news, this program runs all year long!

Half Price Books – Summer Reading Program
When children read for 300 minutes, log time and have parents sign off during both June and July, they’ll get $5 in Bookworm Bucks each month to Half Price Books. Students 14 and under can participate. The program runs June 1-July 31. Bookworm Bucks must be redeemed by Aug. 31, 2019.

Barnes & Noble – Summer Reading Program
This program gives out a free book to each child who reads any eight books over the summer. Visit the link to print out your child’s Summer Reading Journal. There are many popular titles to choose from! The program runs May 16 – Sept. 5.

Showcase Cinema – Bookworm Wednesdays
Participating locations will give your child free admission to a select movie when they show a completed book report. Added bonus: Accompanying parents and children under 6 are free as well!

The Old Spaghetti Factory – Rewards of Reading Program
The Old Spaghetti Factory loves to reward good readers! Read five books and bring the completed form to The Old Spaghetti Factory (Fairfield) for a free kids meal. All ages are welcome to participate. If you (or your school, library or community group) would like to participate, please call 503-225-0433 or [email protected]

The Rusty Bucket “Buckateer Bookworms” Program
Children in Kindergarten through 5th grade can pick up a bookmark tracker at any neighborhood location. Once the child has read five books and tracked them on the back of the bookmark, the student will receive a complimentary kids meal. 

DOGOBooks is a unique site that allows you to read books, write original reviews, and win book prize packs! The more books you read and review, the more chances you have to WIN BIG!

SYNC Audiobooks for Teens
This summer program is for readers 13+. Each reader is eligible for two FREE audiobook downloads each week through Aug. 1. The audiobooks are available in MP3 format and delivered via the Overdrive app, which can also easily be downloaded for free.

Imagination Library
Even though this is not technically a summer reading program, I had to include it in this list. It is a great way to get preschoolers involved in reading. Imagination Library is a program started by Dolly Parton in 1995 to provide children the gift of free books by mail. Perfect for those that have limited access to libraries. When you sign up your child, they’ll receive one new, age-appropriate, paperback book each month from birth to age 5. Participation is based on your zip code.

Are you ready to get started? Maybe even grab a book yourself and join in on the fun! If your child doesn’t enjoy reading or being read to, try changing up the scenery a bit! Go outside and find a spot in the shade, pitch a tent inside and read while “camping” or take a book on-the-go. 

Happy reading!


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