Keep Kids Reading: 5 Great Programs For This Summer

If you grew up around the time I did, you may fondly remember Pizza Hut’s Book It buttons and program. In school, we would get a big, round button pin. There were a number of spaces where you’d put a little round sticker on your button. Each sticker represented a certain number of books that you’d read, and when you got a new sticker, you’d also receive a certificate for a free Pizza Hut personal pizza. It was a BIG deal and a sure way to keep kids reading. My whole class was obsessed with earning their free pizza.

Although the old version of the Book It program is gone, there is good news! It’s back and even better now! It’s not just Pizza Hut working hard to make sure kids keep reading and find joy in books, other companies and organizations have joined in on the action.

This summer, there are 5 great programs that Fresno area kids can enjoy. If they are willing to spend some time reading, enjoying a great story, and using their imagination during their time away from school, these are for them. Parents – bookmark this post so you can help your kids earn their fun reading rewards!

5 Programs to Keep Kids Reading

1. Pizza Hut’s Camp Book It

The 2022 version of the Book It program is easy to start. Now called Camp Book It, parents just have to help kids create an online registration and use the tracker to keep tabs on their reading during the months of June, July & August. When all tasks are complete, you indicate as such on the child’s profile and receive a coupon for a free personal pan pizza! Ah, the nostalgia…

2. Barnes & Noble Summer Reading Program

This super simple and fun reading program provides free books to kids. They just need to read 8 books and complete Barnes & Noble’s printable reading journal. The reward for this one is amazing! You can exchange the journal for a free book! To download the journal, instructions, and view the book list, click here.

3. Chuck E Cheese’s Reading Rewards Calendar

This more loosely defined program consists of an undated calendar spanning two weeks’ time in which parents mark off each day that their child is “awesome”. When your child fills up the calendar, it can be exchanged for 10 free play points! Parents can define awesomeness as they fit. Maybe reading 10 pages a day, a book a day, 20 minutes each day, etc. Download the calendar here.

4. Scholastic’s Home Base Reading Program

Scholastic’s home base is a free, safe, and immersive online learning experience! Kids can create an account and progress gamified educational challenges, earning avatar features and characteristics by learning and reading. Philanthropically minded kids will also enjoy earning book donations for children in remote areas with limited access to books, the more they play and read. Click here to sign up and get started.

5. The Fresno County Public Library’s Summer Reading Program

Our local libraries do a wonderful job providing fun and educational opportunities for everyone all year long. From crafting classes to interactive reptile and magic shows, and story hours for kids – you’re sure to find an activity you like perusing the calendar of your nearest branch. Click here to start navigating all of the different opportunities. They offer virtual classes (including cooking and dance) to make & take crafts and more. Additionally, the library is offering a summer reading challenge complete with grand prizes including science and cooking kits, a water table for the little ones, and even a Nintendo Switch and iPads for teens and adults. That’s right! For this challenge, teens AND adults are eligible to participate! For more info, visit the library’s summer page, and their prize poster online.

So whether your kids are motivated by special treats, gaming (Chuk E Cheese or Scholastic’s games), free books (Barnes & Noble) and prizes (Fresno County Public Library), or philanthropy (Scholastic) the key is to keep kids reading this summer, so their minds stay sharp, they start school in August ready to learn, and so their adult caretakers also get a little quiet time each day. Happy reading!

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