The Fairfax County Public Library Summer Reading Program is back! This annual offering provides a fun way to keep kids not only reading during the summer, but also visiting libraries in the Fairfax County system to enjoy great entertainment and events. The Summer Reading Program encourages children and teens to read for pleasure during summer vacation. It is held in cooperation with Fairfax County Public Schools.
The premise is simple: kids sign up for the program, read the required number of books, and then turn in their reading lists to receive a coupon book full of free and discounted prizes. We did this program last year and our son enjoyed picking his own books, watching his reading list grow, and then claiming all his fun prizes.
Details on the program, which runs today, June 20, through the end of August, are listed below, but before I get into that, let me share a couple of very important tips:
- The program is NOT just for school-aged children. The goal is to encourage readers from a very early age, so even kids who have books read to them, instead of reading them on their own, can participate! The program really is for kids of all ages, from birth through 12th grade. We missed out on this for all the years my son was a preschooler because I thought it was just for kids in “real” school… don’t make the same mistake I did! Sign up all your kids, even the newborns!
- Though the program runs through August 30, you do not have to wait until then. In fact, the earlier you complete your lists and turn them in to claim your coupon book, the sooner you can start enjoying your prizes!
These prizes for the kids include free water park tickets, restaurant meals, ice cream, bowling, DC United soccer game tickets, LOTS of Fairfax County Park Authority offers, and much more! Here are the program basics:
- Kids age birth-sixth grade read 15 books (or have the books read to them); kids in grades 7-12 read 8 books.
- Participants can sign up online or get a reading log at any library branch.
- The deadline for turning in the reading logs and getting you coupon books is August 30. (Pay attention to the coupon expiration dates. Some are good through the end of the year but many expire about a month or so after the program ends.)
- You get just one coupon book per reader; lost coupon books won’t be replaced.
All participants who complete the program are entered in a special drawing to win Barnes & Noble and Target gift cards. There are also essay, poetry, and cover art contests. Visit the Summer Reading Program website for details and to see a video about the program! Happy reading!