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Ultimate Guide to Summer Reading Programs Around Columbia

Ultimate Guide to Summer Reading Programs Around Columbia | Columbia SC Moms Blog

It’s SUMMER TIME! Time to let littles relax and have fun … swimming, staying up late, and reading!

Reading? YES!

Research shows that kids who do not read over the summer can suffer from “summer slide” or “brain drain.” Did you know that loss of reading skills during the summer months is cumulative? These losses add up! By fifth grade, summer reading loss can leave students who do not read in the summer, 2 –3 years behind their peers who do read during the summer. Let’s not forget the other obvious benefits we know about reading – it lowers stress, improves vocabulary, comprehension, and fluency.

We know it can be difficult to get your children to read when they are supposed to be on a “break” from all things school, but check out these resources and events going on this summer … hopefully, these events will help make reading and learning over the summer break a little easier for you and your children!

P.S. – Don’t forget to be a reading role model! Take time for yourself this summer to sit in a hammock and READ! Magazines, comic books, catalogs, cook books – reading is reading and if your children see you reading, chances are they will want to read too! 

Lexington County Public Library Summer Reading

The Lexington County Public Library has a summer reading program for all ages (0-adult)! Children can work towards a final prize that includes a gold reading medal. This program runs from June 1–Aug. 18 (you can register beginning May 1). 

Richland Library Summer Learning Challenge

Richland Library has a summer learning program for all ages (0-adult)! Similar to the Lexington County Public Library, children can read and learn for prizes. The program runs June 1–Aug. 19.

*Please note that both libraries will have lots of special programming throughout the summer. Be sure to check out the schedule of events for all branches – you often do not need a library card to attend events, so check out a program at a branch you don’t normally visit! Call ahead if you do not have a library card for that particular county, just to be sure!

StoryfestSC at the South Carolina State Museum

StoryfestSC is the kick-off for South Carolina public libraries annual summer reading program. It is a FREE annual family event for adults and children statewide, devoted to reading, literacy, and storytelling. Events will include presentations and book signings by the featured author, The Jolly Lollies, Criss Cross Mangosauce, Lemira Percussion Ensemble, storytelling for all ages, crafts, and a visit from literacy friend, USC’s Cocky. StoryfestSC takes place at the SC State Museum on Gervais Street in Columbia on Saturday, June 2, 9 a.m.-2 p.m. 

Chuck E. Cheese Summer Reading Program

Read 14 books for 14 days and get 10 free tokens. Visit their website to print off a reading rewards calendar for your children. This is a program you can participate in all year long! 

Barnes and Noble Summer Reading Program

Children read any eight books, record them on a Barnes and Noble Summer Reading Journal, and tell their favorite part and why. Take the completed journal to a Barnes and Noble store to claim a free book. A list of featured books that children can claim is listed on the back of the journal. The program runs May 15-Sept. 3. Barnes and Noble is located at Richland Fashion Mall (3400 Forest Drive, Columbia, SC 29204).

Scholastic Summer Reading Challenge

This is a free online reading program that runs from May 7–Sept. 7.  The schools with the most minutes logged will win a special prize. 

Clemson University Summer Reading Program

Clemson University is offering several summer reading programs for both children and adults based on individual needs. Classes are held in locations throughout South Carolina. For fees, other information, or to enroll, call 1-800-964-8888, or visit their website for more details.

Reading Rockets

Reading Rockets is a national multimedia project that offers a wealth of research-based reading strategies, lessons, and activities designed to help young children learn how to read and read better. Reading Rockets assist parents, teachers, and other educators in helping struggling readers build ­fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension skills. This is not a summer reading program, but a great website to get ideas and book lists. 

Book It! Summer Reading

The Pizza Hut Book It! program has an excellent website with information about summer reading, including printables, book activities, and book lists.

LifeWay R.E.A.D. 

Go to a LifeWay store to begin the challenge and grab your FREE Summer Reading Program journal, bookmark and pencil. For this challenge, you will read six books over the course of the summer and memorize six scripture verses. Turn in a completed summer reading journal at your local LifeWay store to earn a free book and a new free Bible. Find a LifeWay store near you

Sync FREE Audio Books for Teens Ages 13+

Audio Book Sync is giving teens ages 13+ two FREE audio books to download every week starting in April. Titles change every Thursday. There are titles that cover various genres, so your teen is sure to find something they are interested in. 

School Reading Camps

Check with your child’s school to see if your school district is offering any reading camps this summer. Many school districts offer them, all you need to do is ask! 

There you go! There are many choices for summer reading – don’t make yourself crazy doing all of the summer reading programs. The most important thing you can do this summer to promote reading at home is to give your child TIME to read what they want. Go to the library and let them choose books to check out that are too easy, just right, and too challenging. Those challenging books will provide an excellent opportunity for families to read together and to have important discussions. Those “too easy” books allow children to read something they feel comfortable with. They may just want to visit old friends in a book.

Also, please don’t worry about reading levels or grade levels … choice is powerful … use the flexibility of summer time to give them choice! If you do, I think you will be surprised by the reader you have at the end of summer and your child’s teacher will be happy to have an authentic reader in their classroom! 

What are your summer reading plans? 

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