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Encourage Kids with 2016 Summer Reading Programs + Score Some Freebies

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Summer reading programs for kids are here!

Summertime is right around the corner. I can smell the sunscreen and salty sea breeze in the air (nope, my daydream does not include the legions of mosquitoes heading their way to Houston as I write this).

Got any plans for how to keep the kiddos not only entertained, but learning, and evolving?

Reading is huge in our household.

I've been reading to our 5-month old two to three books per day since he's been about 2 months old. And I completely plan on keeping this up until, hopefully, one day he can read by himself and we'll all have family reading evenings.

If your kiddo is old enough to read on their own, then you've got some free programs to not only encourage them, but to also reward them for seeing a goal through.

Check out the hottest 2016 reading programs for kids:

Free Reading Program #1: Pottery Barn Summer Reading Challenge

Pottery Barn's Summer Reading Challenge is on this year, but by location. For example, here in Houston I put a call into our store and they'll be getting back to me as to whether or not they plan to host the summer reading challenge. So be sure to call your own local store for more information.

Also, Pottery Barn hosts weekly storytime. Our local store hosts them on Tuesdays from  11:00-11:30 a.m. Have your child become a book member and attend five readings in order to receive a coupon worth $10 off of your next purchase.

Free Reading Program #2: B&N Summer Reading Triathlon

Your child will need to print out and complete the Triathlon Reading Journal found here in order to take part in B&N's Summer Reading Triathlon. Then they get to choose one free book as their reward from a list of 24, which includes goodies like Dr. Seuss: The Great Doodler, Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library, and The Night Gardener.

Reading Incentive Program Runs: May 17th- September 6, 2016.

Free Reading Program #3: Scholastic Summer Reading Challenge

Your child can become a Reading Superhero through Scholastic's Summer Reading Challenge. They can log minutes of reading and then earn rewards. Directly from them, “each week, kids can unlock a special fill-in-the-blank story from a favorite author about how they became a reading superhero. Kids can then create their own story, as well as win virtual prizes and enter a sweepstakes to win craft books from Klutz.”

Also, Scholastic will be touring the country with their favorite authors, illustrators, and characters on their Summer Reading Road Trip. Enjoy activities, giveaways and crafts with your child aged 0-12.

Reading Incentive Program Runs: May 9 – September 9.

Summer Reading Road Trip Runs: May 2nd-July.

Free Reading Program #4: TD Bank Summer Reading Program

TD Bank's Summer Reading Program will be available at this link as information comes out (they verified with me that yes, they'll be doing one this year, they just haven't released the information yet).

Reading Incentive Program Runs: June 1-August 31, 2016

Free Reading Program #5: Showcase Cinemas' Bookworm Wednesdays

Take part in Showcase Cinemas' Bookworm Wednesdays, which entitles you to free admission to select children's film when your child presents a book report at participating locations. Also, the accompanying parent and children under six years of age will receive free admission.

Reading Incentive Program Runs: Resumes Summer 2016

Free Reading Program #6: Pizza Hut's Book It! Program

Who doesn't remember Pizza Hut's Book It! Program from their own childhood? Get your child involved between the grades of K-6 and earn reading reward certifications for a free, one-topping, personal pan pizza.

Reading Incentive Program Runs: For six months, and registration is open. However, enrollment is through your school. Homeschool enrollment for the 2016-17 program year opens on May 1, 2016. 

Free Reading Program #7: H-E-B HE Buddy Summer Reading Club

The H-E-B HE Buddy Summer Reading Club will be back this summer, opened to residents of Texas between the ages of 3 and 12. While the details are not out for this year yet, last year a child needed to choose 10 books to read, and then log on a sheet when they read them. Then they needed to mail the completed form, and would receive a prize.

Reading Incentive Program Runs: July 1st-October 2016.

Free Reading Program #8: Half Price Books Feed Your Brain

Half Price Books' Feed Your Brain Summer Reading Program will be announced in May. I'll update when it is!

Reading Incentive Program Runs: June 1-July 31.

Free Reading Program #9: Chuck E. Cheese Rewards Calendar

Chuck E. Cheese offers a Reading Rewards Calendar. Your child can fill it out for ten free tokens after two weeks of daily reading. Note that a food purchase is required in order to use the free tokens

And to get your kids more interested in reading, here are some free printable Dr. Seuss Bookmarks, and here are some free “I love to read” bookmark printables.

Will you be participating in any reading programs this summer?

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Amanda L. Grossman is a Certified Financial Education Instructor, Plutus Foundation Grant Recipient, and founder of Frugal Confessions. Over the last 10 years, her money work helping people with how to save money and how to manage money has been featured in Kiplinger, Washington Post, U.S. News & World Report, Business Insider, LifeHacker, Woman's World, Woman's Day, ABC 13 Houston, Keybank, and more. Read more here.

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