Best Summer Reading Programs for New York City Kids


By Martha Rybczynski

There are still plenty of reading options and programs for kids to stay engaged this summer. Now that the school year is over, it’s absolutely vital that kids keep up with reading! Summer literacy loss is real. Summer reading programs provide an excellent opportunity for readers to stay encouraged and on-track, through activities, conversations with peers, and prizes. These programs provide hours of entertainment, productivity, education, and fun — check out our favorites!

Want some more awesome summer reading recommendations? Check out Summer Book Reading for Kids: Ages 3 to Young Adults 

Summer Reading Programs for New York City Kids

Barnes and Noble

Receive a free book this summer when you read any of the eight books from their Summer Reading Journal list. Pick eight exciting books and fill out the journal explaining your favorite part of each book and why. Then, bring the log back to a Barnes and Noble store from July 1 to August 31st and receive your free book from the book list. For grades first through sixth.

Bklyn Public Library 

Photo courtesy of Brooklyn Public Library

The Brooklyn Public Library is offering a children’s booklist full of reading options for the entire summer. Most of the titles listed are available in formats like eBooks and eAudio books, making this list perfect for social distancing. There are plenty of virtual activities like storytelling, arts and crafts, performances, and games. Children ages 5-12 receive badges for every book they complete. These badges earn entries into a drawing for a pair of wireless headphones!

New York City Dept. of Education 

The DOE is offering access to free ebooks on everything from fruits to flowers, oceans, and even the moon. This digital collection is perfect for those curious minds who love learning. There are plenty of titles and subjects to keep readers of all interests engaged. 

Scholastic Read-A-Palooza

Photo courtesy of Scholastic

Scholastic is providing a community for kids who love reading while improving access to books during the summer. They’re offering free ebooks, games, and online events. Their mission is based on rewarding readers for the number of days in a row they log on to their program — a “Reading Streak.” This option is perfect for encouraging a summertime routine.

Shelf Stuff Reading Challenge

HarperCollins is selecting a children’s book every week this summer for their reading challenge. After the weekly reading, your child can take a quiz on their knowledge of the selected book for a chance to win a Shelf Stuff Summer VIP prize pack! The prize includes a $150 gift card, a Shelf Stuff tote bag, and a monthly VIP box of advance copies of upcoming middle grade books. 

Queens Public Library

Queens Public Library is providing summer content for children and teens. Hosting storytelling, singing, coding, and more, there’s never a dull moment on the program’s calendar. Many of the children’s programs are hosted on Facebook Live, while the teen programs are done through Webex and email.

Quest for Adventure

Photo courtesy of New York Public Library

The New York Public Library is hosting an online summer program, offering ways for your child to stay engaged with reading and at-home activities. Your child can earn badges for reading and participate through the Library’s online reading portal. You can earn up to six badges by participating. They provide summer reading booklets and activity packets that are meant to be fun, educational, and creative. 

This story first appeared on NewYorkFamily.com