Keep Kids Reading – and Having Fun With it!

by Cynda Zurfluh


Summer may only be ten weeks long, but there’s a lot of research that shows kids lose some of what they’ve learned during the previous school year.  Students lose from one to three months of academic aptitude over the summer – and reading skill loss at the primary level accounts for a large part of later reading discrepancies at the high school level.


If your kids need a reason to read, give it to them!  They may not care so much about aptitude studies, but they will surely respond to the many summer reading programs in our area – and online.  Whether they like to get together to read and discuss or just “get stuff” as a reward for reading, options abound.


Public Libraries
The libraries in VA, MD, and DC all have summer reading programs each year.  Check your library’s website for details –select children’s programs if there isn’t a link on the home page.  Most start the second week of June, and some haven’t posted their details.  Just be sure to check back with them to sign up and get your child a head start with the reading requirements.

Library web site links:

Washington DC


The Maryland libraries will kick off their SummerReading Club – One World, Many Stories on June 18 with a day of funactivities.  Be sure to log on to findout what your local branch is up to that afternoon.

Frederick County 
Howard County




Summer Quest is the reading incentiveprogram offered annually at each of the Alexandria branches. Children ages 6-12are invited, and there is also a Summer Quest, Jr. for children ages 5 andunder. Sign-up begins in late June and the program runs into early August.

Weekly events such as movies, crafts,special guest entertainers, and other activities are part of the program.During the summer, please check the Events calendar for special “SQ”programs or “click” the underlined “Summer Quest” link forthe main Summer Quest page.

City of Falls Church
Loudoun County
Prince William County


Bookstoresin our area also have great offers for summer readers.  Many are still creating their 2011 offerings– so be sure to check with your neighborhood stores.

Barnes and Noble

Download the journal, and your child (ages 3 – 12)can get a free book after reading eight books.

Borders Books has offered summer reading in thepast – they are still in the works for this year.  Check in online to see what’s up for 2011.

Kid “Zone” Rewards

Chuckecheese has a rewards certificate you canprint and fill out with goals you set for your child’s reading.  The reward? Free tokens!

Online Programs

Sylvan offers a Book Adventures program where yourchild reads books, takes “quizzes” (reading comprehension), and earns points toredeem for prizes.

















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