Austin Area Summer Reading Programs

With less than two weeks of the school year left, I am gearing up for summer. In addition to buying lots of sun screen, pool toys and swim suits, I am also stocking up on 6th grade math books, pre-k writing and reading books, and searching out some young adult novels that I think my eleven year old might enjoy reading.

It seems that this is my standard summer essentials list, as I nervously worry about my children losing all of the skills that they have gained over the school year. While I want them to have an enjoyable, relaxing summer, I also want them (particularly my son who is entering 6th grade next year) to not suffer from summer brain-drain.

I will be signing up both of my kids to take a summer semester of German at the German-Texan Heritage Society and am scoping out the different summer reading programs out there. I thought a list of the ones that I find might also help you out in your prevention of the brain-drain. If I’ve left any out that you know of, leave a comment letting us know the details.

Austin Public Library- Journey Beyond is for kids of all ages. There is no set limit that you have to read.  Just log the books as you read them and then your kid gets to pick one book that they’ve read at the end of the program to keep. You can turn the log into any Austin Public Library location. Adults can also take part in a different Summer Reading program that kicks off on June 12, 2010. The youth reading program begins on June 7, 2010.

H.E.Buddy Summer Reading Club- This program, open to kids of all ages, requires kids to read ten books. If the kids are too young to read themselves, the parents can read to the kids.You will need a form, which can be downloaded here or picked up at your local HEB, to log the books and then mail the form in for a special prize. The forms must be postmarked by October 1, 2010. The prize takes up to 4 weeks to get to you.

Barnes and Noble- Kids read 8 books, log it in their “Passport” and then bring it into one of the locations for a free book from a list of selected books. This looks like it is for school-aged children, grades 1-12. This program runs from May 25- September 7, 2010.

Borders Books- The Double Dog Dare program has kids read any ten books and then get one free from a list of selected books when they bring their completed log into a Borders or Waldenbooks location. This program is for kids 12 and under. The program runs until August 26, 2010.
AdvertisementHalf Price Books Feed Your Brain- Kids can earn a $3 Half-Price Books shopping card each week if they read for 15 minutes per day. This is for kids 14 and under. The program starts on June 1, 2010.

Round Rock Library- Catch the Reading Express is for kids under 13. They also have a program for teens called Within Arms Reach: The Future is Yours for kids 13-17 years old. Both of these programs log the hours and have rewards and prizes based on five hour increments either spent reading (newspapers, magazines and comics count!) or listening to books for the younger, non-readers. Kicks off June 9, 2010.

Pflugerville Library- Catch the Reading Express begins June 4, 2010. Log the hours spent reading and bring your log into the library for prizes.

Wells Branch Community Library has a reading program called The Reading Express that is for kids from birth to age 10. Kids will log their reading hours and receive prizes in the following increments:10, 25, 50 and 100 hours. The logs will be available beginning June 12, 2010 and all must be turned in by August 14, 2010.

Cedar Park Library- This reading program is for adults and children. You have to log hours to earn prizes. Children need 200 minutes, teens 300 and adults 400. Once the reading chart is complete, you turn it in and receive another one to earn more prizes. The only books that qualify for this reading program are books that are checked out from the Cedar Park Library or have been purchased from their Scholastic Book Fair. This one begins on June 7, 2010 and ends on July 31, 2010.

San Marcos Public Library- This program is very similar to the above program at Cedar Park; log your books that you read from the library and turn in each completed log for prizes. Begins on June 7, 2010 until July 31, 2010.

Most of the libraries have many events throughout the summer to keep the kids active and participating in the summer reading programs. Be sure to check their calendars and mark the events that you and your kids want to attend! For any of you wondering why BookPeople is not on the list, I called and was informed that they do not have one.

Catherine Prystup
About Catherine Prystup 2154 Articles
Catherine Prystup founded LiveMom.com out of a desire to build a better community for Austin-area moms. She has three children, ages seventeen, eight and three years old.

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