Summer reading programs: Libraries and bookstores offer adventures and prizes
During the summer, the children's sections of our public libraries are exciting places to be. With long days of free time stretching ahead of them, kids come looking for something to read. There's no teacher directing them. It's up to them to choose something interesting. And part of growing up is figuring out just what those interests are. In order to serve these kids, libraries around the city host a variety of events. Meanwhile, the libraries run programs motivating kids to read by offering fun activities and incentives for picking up those books.
(Related: Tips for preventing "summer brain drain")
Seattle Public Library
Young people of all ages can keep up with their reading, earn prizes and attend a host of free events (see the calendar) during Seattle Public Library's Summer of Learning. 2019's theme is "Explore your World!" The program has different approaches for different age groups. Early learners can cross off squares for each time they do one of 10 suggested activities. After 10 squares, they can pick up a sticker. By participating, they can get a free family admission to the Burke Museum once it reopens in October.
Elementary and middle school readers make their own goals for reading (the library suggests 20 minutes a day), and for each day's reading, they fill in a square on an activity card. By meeting their goals, they can enter to win a membership to the new Burke museum. Rising sixth-graders and other middle- and high-school students have the option of Burke Museum entries through Teen Book Bingo (the middle square says “Say ‘Hi’ to a Librarian.” You can do it, teens!) Kids up to age 12 can also pick up cards for Seattle Arts and Lectures' Kids Book Bingo. (There's also a version for adults!)
King County Library System
King County Library System's summer reading program runs June 1 through Sept. 7 with a multitude of activities, free events (see the schedule), reading goals and prizes designed to inspire reading. All 46 branch libraries will participate. The prize for registering is two Seattle Storm tickets. The program for babies, toddlers and preschoolers will focus on parent participation and pre-reading activities. Elementary school-aged children have an array of programs planned for them and prizes (while supplies last) for reaching 500 and 1,000 minutes spent reading. Kids can pick up a reading log at their local library, or track the minutes online (possibly with the aid of Alexa).
Everett Public Library System
The Everett Public Library System offers summer reading challenges for both children and teens, with a suggested reading goal of 24 hours. Reading logs are available at both branches of the library though July 31. And there are events. Here's the schedule.
Tacoma Public Library
Tacoma Public Library has a Summer Reading Club that starts June 15, with bingo cards for four age groups: little kids, kids, teens and adults. Pick up the cards at a library branch. Fill in the squares by doing activities. Books, ebooks, graphic novels, audiobooks and magazines all fulfill the reading requirement. Five squares in a row is a bingo, and kids can get prizes, while supplies last. Also, check out the events.
Pierce County Library System
Pierce County Library System's summer reading program started June 1 at its 20 locations. Explore the world of stories in several events (see the calendar), including story times, crafts, music, nature exploration and KaBoom playground visits.
Half-Price Books: Kids 14 and under can earn "Bookworm Bucks" for their June and July reading. The website has lots of cool downloadables, including a coloring sheet, an invitation to give to friends, a reading log and several good lists of recommended books. (Puget Sound-area locations in Tacoma, Tukwila, Bellevue, Redmond, Lynnwood and Everett.)
Third Place Books: This popular local chain has a Summer Reading Challenge that's June 15-Aug. 31. It's simple: Read books, get a passport stamped, qualify for prizes. They'll also be happy to help kids find great books to read. Three stores: Lake Forest Park, Seward Park, Ravenna
Barnes & Noble: Bookseller encourages kids to earn a free book by downloading a summer reading journal and recording what they've read. (There also are suggestions.) And they're launching a summer young-adult book club. Locations: downtown Seattle, Bellevue, Alderwood, Northgate, Southcenter, Federal Way, Issaquah, Lynnwood,