Summer Reading Programs


For many Central Ohio school districts, summer is here. Kids (and teachers!) are in summer mode and time spent on learning seems to be taking a back seat to sports (at least in our house). This summer, however, I plan on keeping my kids’ skills strong by planning ahead and using lots of community resources.  

This frugal mama is proud to share some FREE rewards around town for those days when your kids need a little extra push to open the book. Pair with rewards for a good report card, and you could be earning something free every week of the summer! {Dates, prizes and other details are subject to change, so check directly with the library or business for the most up-to-date information.}

Local Library Summer Reading Clubs

These are probably the most well-known programs out there. But for good reason – we have lots of really strong libraries in the area, staffed with some of the most awesome media specialists. These programs are a great way to get your kids into the library on a regular basis and often come with prizes that help to keep the reading going, or even to explore the town we call home.  

Columbus Metropolitan This year the program is online and you can even sign up from home. The program runs from June 1 – August 3, 2019. One of the awards for finishing is a free kid admission into Zoombezi Bay. That’s a big motivator for children to finish! There’s a fun event that is scheduled on June 1 with musician and storyteller Jim Gall. Check out the details: Summer Reading Program Kickoff

Delaware County (Prizes will be available June 1-July 28)

Grandview Heights Public (May 26-July 30)

Pickerington Public (May 28-August 10)

Westerville Public (June 1-August 3)

Worthington Libraries (May 28-July 28)

Barnes and Noble

Summer Reading Journal:  The program has expanded this year to include teens and adults. After reading a designated number of books and writing in a journal, children choose a free book from the ones listed in the reading journal.

Half Price Books

Feed Your Brain: Kids 14 and younger can earn Bookworm Bucks for reading during June and July. Download the reading chart, read 300 minutes or more and return the completed sheet to Half Price Books before August 29, 2019 to claim your Bookworm Bucks.

Rusty Bucket

Bucketeer Bookworms: Free kid’s meal for every five books read. Pick up a bookmark at your local restaurant. This promotion is valid all year! Visit your neighborhood Rusty Bucket and ask for a Bucketeer Bookworm Bookmark. Your reader can keep track of their books and when they finish five books, they earn a complimentary meal. 

Chuck E Cheese

Reward CalendarsOnce they have completed two weeks of reading he or she can submit the completed Chuck E Cheese calendar for 10 free tokens! (Lots of other great incentive/reward sheets available.)


Chick-Fil-A on Sawmill is offering a Summer Reading Offer too. Watch for details on their Facebook page. Students can pick up the bookmark from May 27-June 8. Record 4 books that you read and redeem the bookmark by August 10, 2019.

Other Great Resources

If the incentives above aren’t enough motivation for your kids to get lost in a book, try some of these great tips from Scholastic.  

Although Pizza Hut’s Book It program is for teachers during the school year, their website has some really cool book and activity recommendations!

What other programs do you love?  Let us know in the comments below!