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summer reading programs
Photo courtesy the Denver Broncos

Summer Reading Programs for Kids

Encourage kids to read this summer with these reading programs.

According to a study done by Scholastic, 80 percent of kids ages six to 17, and 96 percent of parents, agree that reading books during the summer helps kids during the school year. But don’t expect kids to just pick up any book in the house—check out these fun reading programs which offer incentives and prizes to participating kids.

Broncos Bookworms

This is the second summer for the Broncos Bookworms reading program, which encourages kids to read outside of school. Kids need to read five books and submit a reading log, after which they receive a certificate of achievement, a Broncos bookmark, an invitation to an exclusive on-field Bookworms recognition event, and an opportunity to win Broncos prizes. Miles the Mascot will accompany a Denver Broncos Cheerleader to storytimes throughout the summer at Aurora Public Libraries (check the website for specific dates). The Broncos Bookworms program runs from June 4 to August 17, and logs must be received by August 21. To get started, pick up a reading activity playbook at Aurora and Adams County Public Libraries, or on the Broncos Bookworms website.

Bookbar Bingo Challenge

BookBar will be taking part in the American Booksellers Association’s Reading Without Walls bingo challenge, which encourages kids to read a book in a new format, about a new topic or about a character that has had a different experience. Kids can pick up bingo cards at BookBar in mid-May and return them in mid-August for prizes like books and gift cards.

Second Star to the Right Reading Challenge

Second Star to the Right will host the Silly Summer of Stories Reading Challenge this summer to keep kids reading. Kids can pick up a challenge board from the bookstore or any local library starting on June 1. Complete the reading challenges at home, or join Second Star for in-store events to check off boxes on the challenge board. The program is for readers of all ages, and there’s even a smaller parent-oriented challenge board for parents to complete alongside their kids. Every kid (and parent) that brings their completed board into Second Star will be rewarded with 50 percent off a book and a free raffle ticket at their end of the summer bash on August 18. 

Colorado Rapids Reading Program

Soccer fans have the opportunity to receive free tickets to a Rapids game by participating in their local library’s reading program. The Colorado Rapids offer kids tickets to select games as a prize, with the option to purchase additional tickets for friends and family at a discounted rate.

Tattered Cover Summer Bingo 

Booked for Summer Bingo is Tattered Cover’s summer reading program. Beginning on May 28 and going through September 3, if families purchase 10 children’s’ books, they may receive a $15 Tattered Cover gift card in exchange for a completed bookmark found online or in stores. 

Scholastic Summer Reading Challenge

Take part in the Scholastic Summer Reading Challenge, which kicks off on May 7 with the theme “A Magical Summer of Reading.” Parents, librarians, and educators can visit Scholastic’s website to register kids beginning April 9. Then, starting May 7, kids can start logging their reading minutes. Kids get access to free reading resources like book lists and printables, and earn digital rewards for reading throughout the 18 weeks of summer. All ages; English and Spanish.

Barnes & Noble Summer Reading

Barnes & Noble’s summer reading program encourages kids grades one through six to read their choice of books and earn a free book. Kids must read any eight books this summer, and record details about each in their Summer Reading Journal, which can be found on Barnes & Noble’s website. Then, kids bring their completed journal to any Barnes & Noble store between May 16 and September 5 to pick out a free book from the book list on the back of their journal.

Library Programs

Metro area public library districts—Westminster, Arapahoe, Jeffco, Denver, Douglas County, Anythink, and Boulder—all offer summer reading programs filled with prizes and special events.

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