Nashville Summer Reading Programs {2017}


Summer in Nashville brings to mind lazy days, ice cream treats, pools and water play, summer moviessummer camp, and some truly fantastic farmers markets. If you were at all like me as a kid, summer stretched out before you as a fantastic time for reading adventures. Happily, there are a ton of summer reading programs to help you encourage your kids to pick up a book (and avoid the summer slide). We’ve gathered information on several of them for you here!

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Nashville Public Library’s Summer Challenge

This one is always a favorite of mine. When my mom introduced me to the children’s corner in our tiny public library back home, I was pretty sure she’d handed me the keys to a magical kingdom. Our beautiful downtown library definitely lends itself to the magic of that memory (that playground! the story hours! the play tables!), and I love any chance to take the kids there. (Of course, local branches are pretty magical—and very convenient!—as well.) A super part of NPL’s program is that they do an Adult Summer Reading Program too, so you can make it a family affair!

  • Dates: May 25—August 12, 2017
  • Details: Complete activities to earn points (each activity = 20 points). Activities can be repeated. For example, you can earn points by reading (or listening to reading) for 20 minutes, visiting a park, visiting a museum, requesting a book online, or downloading an audio book—just to name a few. You get 5 points just for registering!
  • Prizes: Prizes are earned at the following intervals:200 points = Coloring Bookmark
    400 points = Choose Your Own Prize certificate
    600 points = Bag and an entry in the Grand Prize Drawing
    1200 points = 2nd entry in the Grand Prize Drawing
    1800 points = 3rd entry in the Grand Prize Drawing
  • BONUS: Tag #nplsummer on social media. Paint a picture? Bring a friend to the library? Visit a park? Tag pictures on social media with #nplsummer show us what you’re up to! (And that earns points too!)

Chuck E. Cheese’s Reading Rewards

This one actually isn’t limited to Summer . . . or to reading! Chuck E. Cheese offers a variety of reward calendar options that might come in useful as an incentive program with your child.

  • Dates: Whenever you want! Just pick a two week stretch, set a goal, and go for it! (The current calendars state that they expire at the end of the year.)
  • Details: Print off the goal calendar, mark off accomplished days with your child, and bring in the completed form to redeem at your local Chuck E. Cheese location.
  • Prizes: 10 free tokens! This makes a great addition to one of the packages that Chuck E. Cheese offers for an easy dinner out where the kids can stay (relatively) self-entertained for a bit. We recommend choosing a week day evening if you want to avoid crowds.

Barnes & Noble Summer Reading

An easy, low-commitment program, Barnes & Noble provides a fun, printable journal that your kiddo may enjoy stashing in a treasured space or posting to the refrigerator for all to see.

  • Dates: May 16th and September 5th, 2017
  • Details: Download the B&N Reading Journal. Read any eight books and record them in the journal — sharing which part of the book was your favorite and why. Bring the completed journal to your local B&N store.
  • Prizes: Choose a FREE reading adventure from the book list featured on the back of the journal!

Know of any other great reading programs that we’ve missed?
What other ways do you encourage your child to read over the Summer?


  1. I love this list!! Another neat reading program is the Story Bus with the Franklin Special School District. Not sure if other districts offer something like this, but we’ve definitely taken advantage of this one. 🙂


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