Every where I look these days I see people reading. With the prevalance of video games and mindless tv and movies (and good ones) it really feels to me as if there are a lot of people who still read. In fact, our library is chock full of people every time I visit. And at the pool this summer I see other people reading or they come up to me to ask about the title I have at hand. Books are a great ice-breaker. And I love to talk about the books I read.
Our library always has a summer reading program. They offer incentives to children and adults who read. I have been known to go a step further. Twice I have developed a reading incentive program for our family!
The first time the theme was "Outerspace". I designed celestial bodies, decorated them, and cut them out. Each of the kids and I designed our own rocket ship and emblazoned our name upon it. I affixed the planets on the wall of our dining room. The goal was to move your rocket ship along the row of planets toward the bright and shining sun! Goofy? Yes. But fun. The rocket ships moved along the trajectory for a certain number of pages read. The winner was the person whose rocketship first reached the sun.
Our second reading incentive program was designed around the theme of "Pizza". Each person was given a pizza crust cut-out to place on the kitchen wall. I designed all kinds of crazy topping. Each type of topping was worth a certain number of pages read. The winner was the person with the most toppings on his pizza at the end of the contest!
What were the incentives? You know, I don't even recall. That just proves that the real fun is in the contest and not in the winning of it. The incentive could be anything you dream up though. My best friend and I are talking about having another contest, this time, among the members of both of our families. Some of the ideas for incentives that we've come up with for the winner of the contest are:
Winner gets to pick a restaurant where we'll all go to celebrate our contest and accomplishments.
Winner gets to pick an outing for both families to share (ie: bowling, cinema, sleepover party...)
$5 or $10 gift card to a store of their choice.
Really, the possibilites are endless. The point is to get everyone reading for fun and to share the experience together. Reading brings people together.