Happy Pollinator Week

This week is National Pollinator Week. Birds, bats, flies, wasps, ants, butterflies, bees and other pollinators facilitate the growth of 1/3 of the food and drinks consumed by people.  Unfortunately, many human behaviors threaten the health and safety of these important insects and animals, and many pollinator populations have experienced dramatic declines.  Learn about pollinators and their essential role in food production through these activities.

Use The Pollinator Partnership's 5 Things Kids Can Do Help Pollinators guide to start a discussion with children about how to help protect bees and other pollinators.

 Then read The Beeman by Laurie Krebbs who teaches lots of facts about bees through this story of a about a beekeeping grandpa.

My dad and his beehive.
Now that you've learned so much about pollinators, take a break for a local honey snack.  Visit the National Honey Board's website to use their Honey Locator.  This tool will help you find local beekeepers and honey suppliers in your area.  Many of these suppliers will allow you to tour their property and witness how happy bees produce honey, so checkout their websites or call before your visit.

After your snack, watch Sesame Street's  Honeybee Hullabaloo segment to learn more about honeybees while you buzz around and shake your thorax in a honeybee dance.

Find out if there are any Pollinator Week activities taking place in your area by visiting the Pollinator Partners NPW Events page.


Summer Reading Rewards: Books, Baseball Tickets, and More

Reading is an essential part of children's summertime routines.  An effect called "summer slide" threatens to deteriorate months of students' reading ability progress if they don't include reading in their summer schedules.  The importance of summer reading has led many organizations and companies to create fun summer reading programs to help motivate kids to keep reading when the school year ends.  Get your students involved in a summer reading program or routine to help them maintain and build their reading skills between school years.  Even if your kids are already intrinsically motivated to read, they can earn treats throughout the summer for the reading they would already be doing.

Barnes & Noble's Imagination Destination program offers kids a free book when they turn in a summer reading journal with entries for eight books they've read.  The journal printable and a summer reading kit and both available to download.

Half Price Books's Feed Your Brain program asks kids to read for 300 minutes during June and July in order to earn Bookworm Bucks ($5 store credit).  They can also compete for the monthly top reader prize - a $25 gift card.  Get a reading log, achievement certificate, program kit, and other resources at the Feed Your Brain Printables page.

Public Libraries in your neighborhood are likely to be hosting a summer reading program that may include reading incentives, reading lists, and free entertainment during the summer.

Houston Astros v. Oakland Athletics - Minute Maid Park, 2013
Major League Baseball teams across the country offer summer reading incentives for their fans, either through the local public library or the teams' own programs.
Arizona Diamondbacks - 500 Club Reading Program
Atlanta Braves
Baltimore Orioles - T. Rowe Price Summer Reading Program
Boston Red Sox - Read Your Way to Fenway
Chicago Cubs
Chicago White Sox
Cincinnati Reds - Cincinnati Public Library Power Up Program
Cleveland Indians - High Achievers Club
Colorado Rockies
Detroit Tigers - Genesee District Library Detroit Tigers Promo
Houston Astros - Summer Reading Program
Kansas City Royals
Los Angeles Angels - Rally Readers
Los Angeles Dodgers
Miami Marlins
Milwaukee Brewers - Super Readers
Minnesota Twins - Summer Reading Program
New York Mets - NYC Summer Reading
New York Yankees - NYC Summer Reading
Philadelphia Phillies - Free Library of Philadelphia Summer Reading Program
Pittsburgh Pirates - Pirate Tales
Oakland Athletics - Oakland Public Library Summer Reading Program
San Diego Padres - San Diego Public Library Summer Reading Program
San Francisco Giants
Seattle Mariners
St. Louis Cardinals - St. Louis County Library Summer Reading Clubs for the Whole Family
Tampa Bay Rays - Reading with the Rays
Texas Rangers - Kinsler's Kids Reading Club & Arlington Public Library Summer Reading Club
Toronto Blue Jays
Washington Nationals - DC Public Library Teen Summer Reading

Chuck E. Cheese will give kids 10 arcade tokens when they turn in a two-week reading log.

Ringing Bros. Circus - Houston, 2010
Ringling Bros. Circus has partnered with public libraries around the country to offer free circus tickets to kids who read during the summer.  Visit the Reading with Ringling page to find out if your neighborhood library has an existing circus incentive program or contact Reading with Ringling to begin your own program.  Get your kids excited about reading their way to the circus by visiting the exciting Explore the Show feature of the Ringling Bros. website. Find out about the history of Ringling Bros.  with their interactive timeline.

At Showcase Cinemas kids can turn in a book report on Bookworm Wednesdays in exchange for a free ticket to a kids' movie. Visit their site to see if there is a Showcase Cinema in your area.

Pottery Barn's Summer Reading Challenge includes lots of resources to keep kids reading all summer.  Visit their webpage to get summer reading lists, bookmarks, a progress tracker, a certificate, and more.  Also, contact your local store to get details about their weekly book club where kids can meet and talk with other children who are reading the same books.  Kids will earn a prize after reading all the books on the reading list and another prize after they record 5 book club story time visits in their Book Club Passport.

Will you be participating in any summer reading programs?  Do you know of any I missed?