How to Build a Summer Reading Program

How to Build a Summer Reading Program

By Elizabeth Lee , May 2nd 2016


Keep your kids reading all summer long by following these 4 simple steps!

Now is the time to put together your 2016 summer reading program. Help your students avoid the "summer slide" by giving them a reason to practice their literacy skills during vacation! By developing a strong summer reading program, you will reinforce your students' learned literacy skills and give them the opportunity to exercise their brains.

The 4 steps to building a strong summer reading program:

Step 1: Find books suited for your students, their interests, and their needs.

The foundation of your program starts with the books you select, so make sure you choose titles that best meet your students' interests and literacy level. When you pick books that interest them and meet their literacy level, they're more likely to enjoy and be receptive to the program.

Download our free 2016 Summer Reading Guide for this year's hottest titles for K–8!

Step 2: Provide engaging assignments.

Instead of just assigning books for your students to complete, provide your kids with assignments that help them engage with the stories they read. For example, a reading log is great for students to track and measure their progress. Take it a step by further by giving them a reading journal to fill out, complete with activity worksheets and mini book reports.

Get started with our Reading Journal Starter Kit, filled with printable activity sheets and more!

Step 3: Assign an overarching project.

An all-encompassing reading project is a great supplement or replacement for mini summer assignments. An overarching project will still give kids a way to engage with the books they read and allows more room for exercising those creative muscles!

Check out our list of 10 literary activities and projects for the classroom for some fun ideas.

Step 4: Incentivize the program.

Consider incentivizing the program by giving out rewards to students who complete their assignment. Even if the assignment is mandatory, positive reinforcement will encourage your kids and start the following school year on a celebratory note. If you don't have the budget to reward all your kids, consider hosting a contest or sweepstakes, and give a select number of kids prizes!

Ready to launch your summer reading program?

Download BookPal's 2016 Summer Reading Guide to find book recommendations tailored specifically for your students, their literacy level, and their interests. In this complete guide, you'll find recommended reading for all grade levels as well as details on each titles' themes and topics.


This post was written by Elizabeth Lee, the marketing associate at BookPal. She is currently reading The Organized Mind by Daniel J. Levitin and Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats by T.S. Eliot.

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