Sunshine Reading

Tracking your reading is a great way to keep focused and reach all your family members’ reading goals this summer. There are many ways to track your reading. In fact, there are organizations that have programs in place to encourage reading.

Spokane County Library

Dates: June 15th – August 31st

Ages: All Ages

Format: Online or Paper

Spokane County Library has an online summer reading challenge with Beanstack. Through this online platform you can track your reading, share book reviews, and complete activities while earning virtual badges. Their program is grouped into four age ranges: early learners, elementary age, teens, and adults. The activities and challenges that you complete are wide-ranging, and fun for not only the individual, but families too. 

How To: Sign up at Scld.beanstack.org/reader365, or if you want to track your reading on paper, they also have a printable reading log at News.dpgazette.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/SCLD_SummerReading_ReadingLog.pdf.

Pro: This program has levels from early learners to adults, so the whole family can do it together. Also, Beanstack is an easy program to navigate, and there are plenty of activities for families to enjoy together and earn badges.  

Con: The rewards are all digital and may not keep your child excited about keeping with the program. 

 *Bonus – Beanstack will also show other challenges in your area so you can sign up for more than one.  At the time of my sign up, there was also a KERNEL at the Library program for kids that runs June 1st – October 31st that works with the local farmers market to encourage healthy eating and physical activity in kids.

Spokane Public Library 

Dates: June 1st to August 31st

Ages: All Ages

Format: Online

The Spokane Public Library Summer Reading is free online. All ages are welcome to sign up. Prizes will be earned by kids at the hour markers of five, ten, and fifteen. In addition to a free book at fifteen hours, teenagers will get a ticket to an after-hours Nerf Battle. Adults that finish will be entered into a drawing to win one of six Kobo Clara eReaders.

How To: Sign up at spl.northwestreads.org

Pro:  They are offering some pretty cool prizes for the ages, and they have great activities that keep the kids learning;  it is not just about tracking reading. 

Con: The website is a little hard to navigate for little kids; a parent will need to create a family account and help them. 

Stevens County Library District

Dates: July 1st – August 31st

Ages: All Ages

Format: Online and Paper

The Libraries of Stevens County are also enlisting the help of Beanstack.com to bring a reading challenge to their patrons. Kids, teens, and adults can sign up for reading and activity challenges to earn virtual badges and be entered into a grand prize drawing. 

Additionally, paper bingo game cards, and more information about services available from the library will be mailed out to all Stevens County residents for all ages soon. 

How To Sign Up: TheLOSC.beanstack.org

Pro: This program has levels from early learners to adults, so the whole family can do it together. Also, Beanstack is an easy program to navigate, and there are plenty of activities for families to enjoy together and earn badges.  

Con: The rewards are all digital and may not keep your child excited about keeping with the program. 

Barnes and Noble

Dates: July 1st – August 31st

Ages: Grades 1st – 6th

Format: Paper

Barnes and Noble offers their reading program only for younger students. Kids can earn a FREE book after reading and logging eight books.  Barnes and Noble reading journals are available  online and in store.  The free book is selected from a list of featured books on the back of the reading journal. 

How To: Download the journey at Barnesandnoble.com/b/summer-reading-for-kids/_/N-2mpiZ2mir and fill it out and return to their store.

Pro:  Kids earn a free book with only reading eight books, which is really an achievable amount for the kids.  

Con:  Only grades 1st through 6th can participate, and you can only get a book from the list provided by Barnes and Noble. 

Pizza Hut

Dates: June through August

Ages: K- 6th graders (5 years to 12 years old)

Format: Online

Pizza Hut has their free summer reading program called Camp BOOK IT. The program is like their BOOK IT program that they run during the school year, but now they are bringing it directly to the families.  The kids will get an opportunity to earn, by meeting a reading goal of at least 400 minutes read per month, a free one-topping Personal Pan Pizza. Each enrolled family will have a dashboard to track their child’s reading and get their certificate for the Personal Pan Pizza.  In addition, there are monthly reading themes, a tracking calendar, and activities, and when they meet their monthly goal, a badge.  

How To: Learn more at Bookitprogram.com/articles/summer-reading/camp-book-it. Enroll at Bookitprogram.com. 

Pro:  Kids can earn pizza, and if nothing else motivates my kids, it’s food.

Con:  This only requires 20 minutes a day for 20 days a month, so it might make kids feel like that is all they have to do per day.  

Scholastic

Dates: Now – September 4th

Ages: All age kids though program does seem to lean toward middle school and younger.

Format: Online, and  Phone App

Scholastic Summer Read-a-Palooza, using a free digital place called Scholastic Home Base which is available online at scholastic.com/homebase, and as an app for both Apple and Android devices. Kids are moderated 24/7 on this program, and are able to create an avatar, play games, talk online with Scholastic characters, and read books online.

How To: More information can be found at Scholastic.com/site/summer/home.html

Pro:  Your kids can interact with characters like Dogman, Wolf from The Bad Guys, and so many more.  

Con:  Homebase can take some time to open, so if your device is older, you might want to open it and then have your kids come back to it, because it runs fine once in. This also involves a lot of screentime.

In Conclusion

There may be additional programs out there this summer, but we hope this list will get you started on a summer reading adventure. Just a reminder: if you are wondering how you can stay supplied with books while dealing with limited access to your local brick and mortar libraries and bookstores, both Stevens and Spokane County libraries are offering curbside pickup.

For more information about this, see our article at News.dpgazette.com/2020/06/libraries-offer-curbside-pickup/. Audiobooks and ebooks are also available at both Spokane and Stevens County libraries. You can use apps like Overdrive (Libby app), Hoopla, and Tumble books, for free, though you might need your library card information.

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