With school winding down, here's an important tip: Research shows that children who don't read through the summer can lose a month or more of progress made during the school year.
Keep your children's minds sharp with a summer book reading program that offers kid-friendly perks and freebies. There are several to choose from, and your kids can earn prizes like gift cards, movies, books and more.
Here's a list to start with -- keep your eyes open for more as summer gets closer.
1. Barnes and Noble Summer Reading Program 2013
This year, the Barnes and Noble summer reading program, Imagination's Destination, gives a free book to each child who reads eight books during the summer. This is most appropriate for kids in grades 1-6. This summer reading program runs May 21 - September 3.
2. Half Price Books Summer Reading Program 2013
Half Price Books awards free gift cards to kids who read books during the summer. When kids read for 300 minutes during both June and July, they'll get a free $5 gift card per month to Half Price Books. One lucky kid in each age group and store will get a $20 gift card. This summer reading program runs June 1 - July 31.
3. TD Bank Summer Reading Program 2013
When your kids complete the TD Bank summer reading program, they'll each get $10. Participants need to read 10 books and have a new or existing Young Savers account at a TD Bank to get this deal. This summer reading program runs May 6 - September 30.
4. Showcase Cinemas Summer Reading Program 2013
For each book that a child reads and writes a book report for, they'll get to see a movie for free at a Showcase Cinemas theater. This summer reading program runs July 10 - August 7.
5. Sylvan's Book Adventure Reading Program
Sylvan's reading program called Book Adventure encourages children to read books and then take online quizzes about the books to earn points. These points can be redeemed for prizes like magazine subscriptions, candy, CDs and games. This reading program is ongoing.
6. Chuck E. Cheese Reading Rewards
Chuck E. Cheese sponsors a reading program where kids can earn free 10 Chuck E. Cheese tokens for reading each day for two weeks. This reading program is ongoing. And, of course, don't forget to check your local public or school library -- virtually every public library has some type of a summer reading program, and most have rewards, prizes and fun events for kids.