4 Reading Programs in Central Ohio to Encourage Kids to Read


I love reading. My husband loves reading. I love spending time around books at the library and Barnes and Noble. As a kid, I remember being a part of different reading programs. Now that my son prepares to go to Kindergarten, I’ve been making more of an effort to ensure this love of books and reading is passed on to him and my two-year-old.

I shouldn’t worry as they both insist on multiple books at bedtime. But more than routine, I want to ensure they seek out new books and find the books that speak to them and make them want to read more every day. What’s great about the Central Ohio area, is the amount of resources available to kids to ensure they love reading just as much as my husband and I do. Here are some of my favorite programs to get the kids focused on reading.

Reading Programs

Book It: Pizza Hut: Remember this one? It started in 1984! Read books, get pizza. Win-Win. It recently relaunched too! The website contains information for parents to share with teachers if they’re not already a part of it. Don’t worry teachers, I’ll be the Pizza Hut Book It class mom 🙂 

Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library: I’m super jealous of anyone who lives in the right zip code for this. This is a book gifting program that mails free books to children from birth to age five in participating communities. Every month the program mails an age-appropriate book to registered kids for free. Kids love mail and presents and hopefully, their new books every month! Is there anything Dolly Parton can’t do? Check on the website to see if you live in an area that supports the program here.

Chuck E Cheese: Read Books → Get Chuck E Cheese Tokens- really! Chuck E Cheese has a lot of different reward calendars beyond reading to encourage your kids to do just about anything … sports, graduation, doctor’s appointments, even no nose picking (cause who wants that at Chuck E Cheese?). For the reading calendar, mark off reading every day for two weeks and get ten free tokens.

Rusty Bucket’s Bucketeer Bookworm Reading Program: Rusty Bucket has this program down to a science. Visit a location, ask for a Bucketeer bookmark tracker … read five books and get a free kids meal. Easy peasy lemon squeezy.

I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention local libraries. Between summer reading programs and ongoing activities there is so much to experience at all of the local libraries.  (Disclosure: I’m a board member of the Friends Foundation of Worthington Libraries … but I would say this even if I wasn’t.)

What programs did I miss? Add to the list in the comments!