Ultimate Guide to Summer Reading Programs Around Charleston

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Summertime is upon us! Time to let littles relax and have fun…playing outdoors, staying up late, and reading!

Reading? YES!

Research shows that kids who do not read over the summer can suffer from “summer slide” or “brain drain.” Did you know that the loss of reading skills during the summer months is cumulative? These losses add up!

We know it can be difficult to get your children to read when they are supposed to be on a “break” from all things school, but check out these resources and events going on this summer…hopefully, these events will help make reading and learning over the summer break a little easier for you and your children!

P.S. – Don’t forget to be a reading role model! Take time for yourself this summer to sit in a hammock and READ! Magazines, comic books, catalogs, cookbooks – reading is reading and if your children see you reading, chances are they will want to read too! Need some book suggestions for you or the kiddos? We’ve got you covered at the bottom of this post!


Charleston County Public Library Imagine Your Story

Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, Charleston County Public Library (CCPL) and Charleston County School District (CCSD) are working together to help students and children read more than ever this summer. The programs for children, teens, and adults run between June 6 and Aug. 15 this year and feature loads of free virtual online events and programs, as well as fun prizes provided by generous community sponsors. Students who choose to participate can begin logging their reading on June 6 and Non-CCSD students who would like to sign up for Summer Reading may register online and begin logging their reading on June 6 as well.

For more information on virtual online programs, prizes and prize pickup, reading lists and registration, visit ccpl.org/summeronline.


Berkeley County Library Summer Reading

  • Pre-Registration Starts: Mid May
  • Summer Reading Program Starts: June
  • Prizes Can Be Redeemed Starting: 2nd week of June
  • Summer Reading Program Ends: End of July
  • Prizes must be redeemed by: 1st week of August

Babies, toddlers, preschoolers, children, teens, and adults can all participate! Children too young to read by themselves are welcome to participate by having a parent or caretaker sign them up and read to them.


Barnes & Noble Summer Reading Program

Participation is a fun and easy way for kids to earn free books. They simply read a designated number of books – library books, books borrowed from friends or books bought at Barnes & Noble – write about their favorite part in our Reading Journal, and bring a completed Reading Journal to a Barnes & Noble bookstore. Children then choose their free book from the books listed on the Reading Journal and collect their free book from a store near them. This year, Barnes & Noble has expanded the program to include teens and adults.


Chuck E. Cheese Summer Reading Program

Read 14 books for 14 days and get 10 free tokens. Visit their website to print off a reading rewards calendar for your children. This is a program you can participate in all year long!


Scholastic Summer Read-A-Palooza

This is a free online reading program that runs May 4-September 4. The schools with the most minutes logged will win a special prize, but you do not have to be connected to a school to participate. For 2020, they are offering a free digital destination that offers full books, live events, and games in a safe community for readers. Kids are encouraged to track their reading streaks™ to earn rewards and unlock book donations, with the goal of donating 100,000 books by July!


Clemson University Summer Reading Program

Clemson University is offering several summer reading programs for both children and adults based on individual needs. Classes are held in locations throughout South Carolina. For fees, other information, or to enroll, call 1-800-964-8888, or visit their website for more details.


Reading Rockets

Reading Rockets is a national multimedia project that offers a wealth of research-based reading strategies, lessons, and activities designed to help young children learn how to read and read better. Reading Rockets assist parents, teachers, and other educators in helping struggling readers build ­fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension skills. This is not a summer reading program, but a great website to get ideas and book lists.


Book It! Summer Reading

The Pizza Hut Book It! program has an excellent website with information about summer reading, including printables, book activities, and book lists.


Sync FREE Audio Books for Teens Ages 13+

Audio Book Sync is giving teens ages 13+ FREE audiobooks to download every week starting in April. Titles change every Thursday. There are titles that cover various genres, so your teen is sure to find something they are interested in.


There you go! There are many choices for summer reading – don’t make yourself crazy doing all of the summer reading programs. The most important thing you can do this summer to promote reading at home is to give your child TIME to read what they want. Check out some of our other posts that have great book suggestions for adults and kids!

Our 5 Favorite Books (Toddler Approved & Mom Tolerated)
Kid Recommended Books for Your Child’s Collection
4 Audiobooks to Share with Your Daughters
5 Books That Changed My Parenting Perspective
More Books That Changed My Parenting Perspective
13 Black History Month Picture Books For Kids

Happy reading!

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