Summer reading programs along Wasatch Front

Photo: Pixabay

June 19, 2017 (Gephardt Daily) — Every parent’s heard of the dreaded “summer drop,” where apparently our offspring will lose 3,006 IQ points because we’re not mentally stimulating them even when school is out.

While I’m pretty weak on some of the directives, I absolutely believe regular reading is a must. Sooo… I will force my personal favorite approach on all of us. But really, there’s some wonderful options this season.

Some Tips and Tricks For The Reluctant Reader:

Because I’m such a reading lunatic, I naturally assumed all my kids would be — I happily surrounded them with books, read with them… and discovered it was getting harder and harder to keep their interest. Here’s some suggestions from educators:

  • Do they see YOU reading? I realized I haven’t actually cracked a book in like, forever, since most of my reading is done online. They need to see your excitement, too.
  • Do you read with them? Sometimes it’s fun, sometimes it’s a bit of a beating, especially if they’re tired, or cranky. I did better reading with my Zoe after dinner than before bedtime, when she turns into a whining beast of doom. Pick the time you’re both most amenable to making it work.
  • Are you picking from their realm of interest? I wept when I realized that Zachie was not interested in “The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe” series by C.S. Lewis, which meant so much to me. He likes reading about cheetahs, the world’s biggest trucks, more non-fiction. So we go with it.
  • Is it fun or another chore to knock off the list? My personal experience is that any time reading is listed as a duty it is no longer fun. I won’t even call it homework.

Summer Reading Programs Along The Wasatch Front

Your local city/county library programs – These will always be first in my heart because they’re free, there are so many activities, like story time, crafts, reading challenges — and, because the summer reading programs go from toddler up to adult. Zoe, Zachie and I each participate in our age group and compare our results. Each local library has a different program, so find your closest one here:

*Salt Lake City Libraries
*Salt Lake County Libraries
*Tooele Library
*Provo Library
*St. George and Washington County
*Ogden Library
*No. Logan Library

Barnes and Nobles Summer Reading Program – Kids in grades one through six will get to swagger in to their participating Barnes and Noble and walk out with a free book by doing the following:

1. Read any eight books this summer and record them in your Summer Reading Journal (English or Español). Tell us which part of the book is your favorite, and why.
2. Bring your completed journal to a Barnes & Noble store between May 16 and Sept. 5, 2017. Find a Store
3. Choose your FREE reading adventure from the book list featured on the back of the journal.

Chuck E Cheese Reading Rewards – This is one of several offers from the terrifyingly cheerful mouse for encouraging kids to read during the summer. Check off their reading goals every night and your kiddo gets 50 free tokens when they complete their calendar.


Pizza Hut – The pizza giant teamed up with Candlewick Books to offer free downloads of books like “Hurray For Birds!” and “Tracking A Truck,” along with an activity kit to help your kiddos develop their reading comprehension. There’s also finger puppets and flash cards.

Pottery Barn Kids – Attend five story time sessions at your local Pottery Barn kids store, and it will have a special gift waiting for your little person. Find your closest location here. (Editor’s note: This one doesn’t work for me because I can’t concentrate to share the moment with my 6-year-old Zoe. Pottery Barn is my porn. Sorry. It’s true.

Read Today – The group is teaming up with the Salt Lake Bees to lure kids into reading with some excellent swag:  By reading 20 minutes a day, you will receive a mood-changing pencil, a book from Seagull Book, a free Happy Meal from McDonald’s and two tickets to the Aug. 16 Salt Lake Bees baseball game.

The Scholastic Summer Challenge – Join the Scholastic Summer Reading Challenge by grabbing your favorite books, logging your reading minutes, and most importantly, having fun all summer long. Log in your reading minutes and collect virtual prizes along the way.

This article reprinted with permission from The Todd and Erin Favorite Five


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