14 Free Summer Reading Incentive Programs 2019

summer reading program - three girls reading on a rug

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Summer Reading Programs are a great way to encourage kids to read over the summer vacation. Studies show that reading five or more good-fit books has the potential to prevent a decline in reading abilities. Parents and grandparents can help kids choose good-fit books to ensure that reading is interesting and fun.

These 14 summer programs are sure to get even the most reluctant reader excited about reading this summer.

1. Public Libraries

Most public libraries host a free reading program to encourage kids to keep reading over the summer. Check with your local library for more information.

2. Barnes & Noble Summer Reading Program

Kids can earn a free book by reading any eight books and writing about their favorite part. Download the summer reading journal or pick one up at the nearest Barnes & Noble store. Bring the completed reading journal to a Barnes & Noble store to receive a free book from the reading adventure list.
Grades: 1-6
Program Dates: 8/1-8/31

3. Amazon Summer Reading Challenge

Kids earn a Star Reader Certificate that entitles them to $1 off a book purchase by reading any eight books over the summer. Bring a completed reading log to your nearest Amazon Books retail store.
Grades: K-8
Program Dates: Ends 9/2

4. Scholastic Read-a-Palooza Summer Reading Challenge

Kids can unlock digital rewards by entering their reading minutes and completing weekly reading challenges. Students must create an account to log their reading time.
Program Dates: 5/6-9/6

summer reading program at the library - girl and librarian

5. Pizza Hut Book It! Summer Program

Kids can earn prizes by reading five books and completing weekly reading activities. Sign up to start receiving weekly summer emails.
Grades: K-6
Program Dates: 6/22-8/15

6. Chuck E. Cheese Reading Rewards

Kids can earn ten free play tokens for reading every day for two weeks. Download and print the reading rewards calendar. Bring it to Chuck E. Cheese to receive ten free tokens with any food purchase.
Program Dates: Year Round

7. Books-A-Million

Students can earn a Diary of a Wimpy Kid drawstring backpack (while supplies last) by reading any four books from the summer reading adventure section and writing about them. Visit the website to download and print the summer reading adventure journal. Show your completed journal to a store associate to receive your free drawstring backpack.

8. Pottery Barn Kids Weekly Storytime

Head to your nearest Pottery Barn Kids for weekly storytime, activities, and more. Kids receive a special gift after becoming a book club member and attending five events.
Program Dates: Every Tuesday at 11:00 a.m.

9. TD Bank Summer Reading Program

Kids can earn $10 by reading ten books and completing the summer reading form. Bring the completed reading form to your nearest TD Bank to receive $10 in a new or existing TD Simple Savings Account. Check out the Wow!Zone, a comprehensive financial literacy program, created by TD Bank to teach kids about money, saving, banking, and investing.
Grades: K-5
Program Dates: 6/1-8/31

10. DOGOBooks Summer Reading Adventure!

Kids win prizes by reading their favorite books and writing as many original reviews as they can. The top ten participants will be eligible to win a prize pack of eight books. The next 25 top participants will be eligible to win a $10 gift card. This parental consent form is required to participate in the giveaway/contest.
Program Dates: 5/14-8/18

11. Half-Price Books Feed Your Brain Summer Reading Program

Kids can earn Bookworm Bucks by reading at least 300 minutes over the summer and tracking their reading minutes on thisreading log.

Teens can earn Bookworm Bucks by reading books and writing short reviews.
Grades: K-8
Program Dates: 6/1-7/31

12. Showcase Cinemas

Kids can earn free admission to Bookworm Wednesdays at 10 AM by reading books and writing book reports. Students must present a book report at a participating Cinema de Lux, Showcase, or Multiplex Cinemas box office. Accompanying parents or guardians and children under six years of age receive free admission and do not need to submit a book report. Visit the website to download the book report form.
Program Dates: 7/8-7/29

13. New York Times Summer Reading Contest

teens using a laptop together

Everyone has an opinion on everything. Now students can tell the New York Times what they liked or didn’t like about an article, essay, video, podcast, or photograph that was published on NYTimes.com in 2019. At the end of every week, judges from the New York Times will pick and publish their favorite responses.
Program Dates: 6/14-8/23

14. AudioFile SYNC Summer Reading AudioBooks for Teens

SYNC is a free summer audiobook program for teens. Use the OverDrive app to download two free audiobooks every week over the summer. Teens can listen to the audiobooks on a mobile phone or any device that has internet access and allows downloads.
Ages: 13+
Program Dates: 4/25-8/01



  1. June 11, 2019 / 7:27 am

    Perfect timing! I have my niece for the summer and she struggled in reading this year so I am looking for ways to engage her easily bored 10yr old mind. I think she’s gonna dig the pizza hut program! Thanks for the list!

  2. June 10, 2019 / 1:54 pm

    Every summer I signed my son up for the Summer Reading Program at the local library. I think I enjoyed it as much as he did. Thanks for supporting READING and the PUBLISHING AND WRITING OF GOOD CHILDREN’S BOOKS.

  3. June 10, 2019 / 11:43 am

    Wow, Great list!!! No reason reading needs to slide during the summer with resources available.

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