My post is inspired by a conversation I had recently with a close friend of mine on the subject of her daughter’s enjoyment of reading. Her daughter’s school had a reading program in which she ranked higher than anyone else on her reading level and amount of reading. I made some fuss over this as reading has always been my favorite hobby. Most of the reasoning that went into my getting into writing was that reading wasn’t enough anymore. To applaud her daughter’s reading I told her that Pizza Hut still had the Book-It program going on, if she hadn’t known that.
I had recently read of Pizza Hut’s Book-It program being expanded for adults. For those that aren’t familiar with the program, it was founded 30 years ago in an effort to promote literacy and reading for young children. Every time a child finished a book they were given a sticker, and that sticker became a coupon for a free mini pizza at any Pizza Hut. When I looked into this I found that Pizza Hut still had the program going all this time. Parents & teachers can find all the information they need to get started by going to the following link: http://www.bookitprogram.com/teachers/nyrw/default.asp There are even apps for teachers & parents to track their child’s reading and books, etc.
Also, next week (November 10-14, 2014), is National Young Readers Week. Sometimes participating schools have visiting celebrities come out to read a child’s favorite book, or the principal might read for the day (see the Principal challenge). I saw a pair of gloves that have “Read your heart out” on them for those that might need to read outside (we read *everywhere*). http://www.bookitprogram.com/readyourheartout/promise.asp
The idea of “taking the pledge”, “making the promise”, and “giving the gift” of reading to a child is a requirement for all of us. The already existing reading programs affect all levels of reading. The Book-It program was started 30 years ago for this very purpose.
Below are other reading programs I found that you or any children you either: have/teach/know, that might be interested in.
Reading contests for kids on Pinterest combines a large and still fast-growing social media platform with reading: http://www.pinterest.com/craftingourlife/reading-contests-for-kids/
Speaking of social media, here are some reading programs for kids on Facebook:
Barnes & Noble has a summer reading program on their web site: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/u/summer-reading/379003570/ but the local stores often have their own events. Visit your local book store today to see if there are any programs that you can support or participate in.
Books Adventure is an online resource for parents who want to motivate their child (K-8) to read. Kids can search for books and take quizzes on what they read. There are even prizes to be rewarded for reading. http://www.bookadventure.com/Home.aspx
K5 Reading is a paid, online reading program with a free trial. There is a lot to check out on this web site. http://www.k5learning.com/reading
StudyDog is also a paid, online program with a free trial. Steve Wozniack (Founder, Apple Computer) says “It’s the best educational software I’ve ever seen. Period.” http://www.studydog.com/parents/
This is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to resources for kids and reading. If you are interested in motivating a child to read more you are very likely to find a resource to help you.