7+ Summer Reading Programs for Your Kids to Take Part in this Summer

Reading Contests with Prizes Might Motivate Your Kids to Read More this Summer

By Emily Papa, Macaroni KID Robinson Publisher June 8, 2024

Avoid the summer slide by keeping kids reading this summer. Do your kiddos need some outside motivation to crack open that book? Check out these summer reading programs with incentives to read -- enter one, or all!  

Barnes and Noble Summer Reading Journal

The reward: Kids going into grades 1 to 6 can earn a free book from Barnes & Noble (limit one per child).

How it works:

  • Summer Reading Journals for students grades 1-6 are available starting May 1st
  • Read a designated number of books this summer and record them in Barnes & Noble's Summer Reading Journal. Kids have to write a sentence or so to explain which part of the book is their favorite, and why.
  • Bring your completed journal to a Barnes & Noble store during July and August to receive a free book.

Find more information at


The reward: Free one-topping Personal Pan Pizza from Pizza Hut! 

How it works:

  • Just like when we were kids, only now digital, kids track their reading hours for June, July and August on a digital dashboard. Once they meet their reading goal, they'll receive a free Personal Pan Pizza from Pizza Hut.

Enroll today for Camp BOOK IT!

Chuck E. Cheese Reading Rewards

The reward: Kids can receive 10 free tokens for every 2 weeks of daily reading. You can only redeem 1 calendar per kid per visit. 

How it works:

  • Kids need to record that they read every day for two weeks to receive 10 free tokens. A food purchase is required.

Download Chuck E. Cheese's reading log.

New York Times Summer Reading Contest

The reward: Your child's writing could appear in the New York Times.

How it works:

  • Every Friday beginning on June 9th, the New York Times will publish a post asking the same question: What got your attention in the New York Times this week?
  • Anyone 13 to 19 years old can post an answer until Aug. 18. Contestants can choose from any Times article, essay, video, interactive, podcast, or photograph published in 2023, on any topic they like.
  • The New York Times will announce winners every Tuesday and publish their writing.

To see how this works, visit this post from August 2022 and check out the student comments that were submitted at that time.

Find the weekly writing prompts here.

Pittsburgh West Public Libraries

Many of our local libraries are offering summer reading programs with incentives for achieving reading milestones. In addition to the summer milestones, there are kickoff events and end of summer parties that are free to attend that you can find on our event calendar

Check back often for more programs being added!

Is your library hosting a Summer Reading Program? Submit the info here, and we'll get it on our calendar. 

Sometimes an incentive -- even a small one! -- is all a kid needs in order to find the motivation to read. We hope these summer reading programs give your child an extra push toward reading this summer!