10 Ways Kids Can Cash in on Summer Reading

In the past year, we have uniquely combined school and home learning, and while I am loosening up for the summer, my at home little learners (four of them,  ages 7-15)  will still be actively learning local history and ecology, in addition to the occasional impromptu math lessons for figuring out how much they need for the ice cream truck.  On top of that, of course, they have been reading this summer.   While it’s easy to excite them while chasing them with a fiddler crab in the salt marshes, or animate the days of old  at the nearby living history farm, summer reading can often be less motivating. With a little research, I was able to find a variety of summer reading incentives and giveaways that sparked each of my summer buddies’ interests. While they each chose at least one, my higher achievers chose to  register in several to get more rewards from reading the same books- the same books that cover  their school summer reading requirements as well!   I was especially interested in the bank programs where they can earn money for reading (and not out of my pocket!). Drop this list to your little readers and let it drive their summer reading.

  1. Cap Com Federal Credit Union is paying out up to $10 ($2 per book) to students in grades Kindergarten through 12 during the Cap Com Federal Credit Union Summer Reading Programs. They offer this program in the winter and fall as well- which can add up to a potential $30 a year!  They don’t stop there with paying out for students’ hard work and success. Students can present their end of the year report cards to earn up to $30 with their Great Grades reward program! What a great way for kids to earn money that doesn’t come out of parents’ pockets! You can open a youth account  and let your kids start learning that hard work pays off!
  2. JusticeFederalCreditUnion  is willing to dish out $10 to any student who reads 10 books over the summer. Students need to write a list of read books and present it to any Justice Federal branch. Money will be added to any new or existing Young Savers Account (parental assistance needed to open an account).
  3. TD Bank is offering $10 in their Summer Reading Program to any student who reads 10 books before August 31. The student needs  a Young Savers Account (parents, you need to set this up) and must fill out a form with the read books which can be delivered to  any participating TD Bank (check with your local TD, as not all branches participate).
  4. Pizza-Hut is opening their virtual “Book-It” summer camp where elementary kids can earn monthly free pizzas and other rewards through reading just 20 minutes a day this June, July, and August. Sign up is easy- and pizza always tastes better when the kids earned it themselves!
  5. Barnes and Noble is offering a free book for every 8 books read before August 31. Students must record the books in their Barnes & Noble Summer Reading Journal and return it to any Barnes and Noble location.
  6. Applebee’s Book Worm Reading Club – is cooking up a free kids meal for sizzling summer readers (ages 10 and under) who can read 10 books to fill out their “Bookworm Club” record card. Students can turn in their completed cards to cash in on a yummy kids meal when accompanied by a paying adult (NYand PA only). I emailed the director of the program requesting one card per child for their summer reading, but this can also be acquired though your local library or school.
  7. Read-a-palooza  is created and run by Scholastic Books and encourages students to read throughout the summer with a rewards program where they can make friends and earn virtual  rewards by logging in and reading daily through September 3.
  8. SYNC is offering teenagers two free audiobooks all summer long! Our teenagers already love their devices, and these are read-to-me books! Reading can’t get any easier than this!
  9. Booksamillion wants your child to go on a reading adventure this summer! All they have to do is choose 4 books from their reading list, and read and write about them. After they complete their logs, they can bring them into their local Books-A-Million store and collect their prize!
  10. Halfpricebooks has opened their summer reading camp and invites your children to attend. Camp includes stories, coloring pages, activities, and achievements. Students will track their monthly reading to earn prizes. Through August 1, they have a weekly camp giveaway where parents can win one of nine Half Pint Lending Libraries built by The HPB Woodshoppe and a $100 HPB Gift!

Jessica Cicalese-Kurtz, MA, K-12 Teaching and Technology; BA, K-8 Education; BS, Biology, Science and Engineering, is a high school STEAM Bio and AP Research teacher at Toms River High School East. Jess is also the Science Fair Coordinator at Toms River Middle School South. Jess has written curriculum for K-8 Science and High School Biology, as well as designed and implemented workshops for teachers. She is a freelance writer, wife, and budgeting mom of four who loves to travel, enjoy nature, connect with animals, and read.

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