Family Matters: Readers get rewarded this summer and all year long

Published on Wednesday, 7 June 2017 17:48 - Written by JENNIFER FLANDERS

Although my kids will be doing a little schoolwork through the summer, their lessons are relaxed enough to allow for lots of extracurricular reading. That’s why book clubs and reading programs are always popular at our house.

Want to motivate your child to curl up with some good books this summer and on into the next school year? Check out these great rewards they can earn for devoting just 15-30 minutes a day to reading.

• Free books from Tyler Public Library – Children of all ages and adults alike can earn free books in Tyler Public Library’s summer reading program. When they do, they will be automatically entered into a drawing for additional prizes, as well. Visit the library for more details or sign up online through this link:

• Free book from Barnes & Noble – Students in grades 1-6 can earn a free age-appropriate book (chosen from a predetermined list) when they read eight books over the course of the summer. Pick up a reading log in store or download one online:

• Free games at Chuck E. Cheese – Kids who read every day for two weeks can earn 10 free game tokens. These rewards are available all year long, with a limit of one reward certificate per day per child. Visit the Chuck E. Cheese website to find charts for tracking reading as well as for helping your kids establish other good habits:

• Free gift card to Half-Price Books – Kids who spend 15 minutes a day (or 300 minutes a month) reading in June and July can earn up to $10 ($5 per month) in “Bookworm Bucks” from Half-Price Books. High schoolers can qualify for the same prize by reading a book a month and writing a short review. Follow this link for more details:

• Free T-shirt from H.E.B. Grocers – Kids can get a free “Reading Club” T-shirt when they read 10 books before October 1. Follow this link to sign up:

• Free pizza from Pizza Hut – School children who meet their reading goals can earn free personal pan pizzas through Pizza Hut’s Book-It Program. This program is also open to homeschoolers. Enroll online by Sept. 1 for the upcoming school year:

• Free ice cream from Braum’s – Children in grades 1-5 can earn free ice cream treats through the Braum’s Book Buddy Program for every six books they read. The program provides reading logs with fun stickers for tracking progress, as well as coupons for two free cones, two free sundaes, and two free frozen yogurts. Enrollment for the 2017-18 school year opens Aug. 1. Follow this link for details:

• Free ticket to Six Flags – Students in grades K-6 (including homeschoolers) can earn a free ticket to the amusement park for reading just six hours, but the deadline to sign-up is March 1. That’s rather late for school year planning, but extremely early for summer programs, so bookmark the website now and check back in January for the 2018 program.


Jennifer Flanders loves to read and strives to foster a lifelong love for the same in her children. You’ll find more fun ideas for motivating kids to read on her family blog: