Plugged-in parent: Summer reading

I’m looking for a program to keep my children reading during the summer months. Any online options?

Summer offers a great opportunity for kids to boost reading skills, and many libraries offer summer reading programs with reading incentives to motivate children.

Start by checking the website of your local public library. Most cities offer reading lists, e-books and a reading club or activities for children each summer. Then explore the following options to find a fit for your summer readers.

Storia. Download Scholastic’s Storia eReading app from the Scholastic store and get five free e-books to start. This program allows parents to select e-books from thousands of titles for their child based on reading level and then track their progress. Kids can build bookshelves of their favorite reads and some books are enriched with vocabulary activities to boost reading interest. Available for Windows PC, iPad and soon, Android tablets.

The Stacks. This is Scholastic’s book-themed social network. Kids can create a profile, play games and watch video interviews all connected to books. Readers can create a Bookprint of their favorite books and for every new one created, a book will be donated to the Reach Out and Read program.

Soar With Reading. PBS’s favorite traveling character, Hooper, hosts a website with tips and ideas on keeping kids reading during summer travels. Log your child’s reading minutes, create travel postcards to send and keep track of your child’s titles this summer. For every free account created, JetBlue will donate a book through the First Reads program.

Imagination’s Destination. Barnes& Noble’s Summer Reading program offers a free book to kids who read and record any eight books in their downloadable Reading Journal. Parents can download a free teaching kit, with teaching tips and activity ideas.

Book Adventure. This fun, free program by Sylvan Learning Centers is geared to kids in grades K-8 to help them find a book, take quizzes on what they’ve read and earn prizes for their reading success.

Goodreads. This is a great tool for families who want to inspire each other with great reading material this summer. Create your own group, make it private and invite cousins, friends and relatives to read and share books together.

Pinterest. Create a family site dedicated to summer reading on this fun site. Help kids snag photos of their favorite books, reading programs or even literary characters and pin them to their own Pinterest board. Kids can add their own reviews and comments to share with family and friends.

Sharon Cindrich is a mom and a writer specializing in helping parents understand technology.

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