Guide to Cedar Rapids Area Summer Reading Programs

As the first month of summer break has ended, maybe a little bit of the excitement of summer has ended with it.

Now boredom is taking over, and you might be experiencing that sinking feeling that your kids are going to regress in some of those skills they worked so hard to learn over this last school year.

Well, fret no more because I’ve got the perfect solution for you: summer reading programs!

The best part is that all these programs come with a surprise or prizes to be earned, and some of them are for all ages so the whole family can participate! So, challenge your tween on who can read more pages or books–them or you– and take the eye roll that comes with it as confirmation they are on board!

Encourage your younger readers to follow along with their finger as you read age-appropriate books, or to pick out sight words they can recognize!

Kids Reading

Below are some of the local reading programs in the area, along with a link directly to details about the programs!

Marion Public Library

Ages: 0-100+

Prize: Free book for signing up!

Dates: June 1 – July 31st

Visit the Marion Public Library to sign up online or click the link below to print off and track your progress for the Reading Colors Your World summer reading program! Everyone who signs up receives a free book, and special prizes are offered to the first 500 kids or teens to register! You can also use the digital tool, Beanstack, to track your process or add fun challenges to your summer reading journey!


Cedar Rapids Public Library

Ages: ALL

Prize: Free book for signing up!

Dates: June 5 – July 31st

Sign up via the link below to join the Summer Dare program! You’ll need to read 600 minutes to complete the program, but you can track your progress online and complete the dares to stay active throughout the summer! Everyone who signs up receives a free book, and once you complete the program you receive a second free book!


Library Books

Hiawatha Public Library

Ages: Pre-K, 3-12, 13-17, and 18+

Prizes: Prize Packet & Completion Certificate

Dates: Begins July 1st

Sign up via the link below to join the Reading Colors Your World summer reading program! It is broken up into four age groups, making it diverse enough for the whole family to participate at their own level! You’ll need to earn 1000 points to complete the program, and each age group has its own specific point system.


Cedar Rapids Kernels

Ages: Pre-K – 5th Grade

Prizes:  1st Base prize is 1 free Club Ticket + $5 opening deposit from Hills Bank

Dates: Scorecard must be turned in by August 22

Click on the link below to print off your reading scorecard! There are prizes to be earned at each base, with the end goal of a home run just like in a real game of baseball! You advance from base to base by reading for 250 minutes, totaling 1,000 to complete the program.


Barnes and Noble

Ages: Grades 1 – 6

Prizes: Free book upon completion!

Dates: July 1st – August 31st

Click on the link below to print off your summer reading journal! You’ll need to read 8 books, fill out your reading journal in correspondence to those books and then bring your full reading journal to Barnes and Noble to complete the program!


Pizza Hut

Ages: 4-12

Prizes: one-topping personal pan pizza

Dates: June – August

Click on the link below for the Book IT! program. You’ll have to read 5 books to earn a one-topping personal pan pizza, but you can earn one pizza per month and start your 5 books over for the next month!


Your family’s summer reading program starts now! Head on over to your local library and let everyone pick out their first summer reads! Which of these summer reading programs is the best fit for your family, and why? We would love to hear which reading program, or programs, you’re doing this summer!

If you’re needing some inspiration, check out this article with some great family-friendly reads!

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