A couple of weeks ago, I lamented the need for incentives to entice our children to read over the summer. Since that time, I have heard from at least one of my children on a near-daily basis how UNFAIR it is that I make them read every day.
“I shouldn’t have to read on MY BIRTHDAY!”
“But it’s the FOURTH OF JULY!”
“I HATE this book!” or “It’s too hard!” or “I read yesterday!” or “IT’S SUMMER, MOM!”
One would think that they were being asked to remove an appendage for each chapter read.
Now that the OC Fair is in town however, I have my ace in the hole. Maybe my kids are too savvy to be lured in by the trinkets offered at the library. Maybe my promises that they will be so much farther ahead come September for all the reading they are doing are falling on deaf ears. But, free rides for reading books? What red-blooded American child can resist that?
Yes, you read that correctly! Through their “Read & Ride” program, the OC Fair is offering three free carnival rides to each child who has completed two books so far this summer.
In order to cash in on the offer, young fair-goers, ages 5 to 11, will have to complete a short – approximately 25 words – book report for each book, and turn in the form at the OC Fair Information Booth, at the Centennial Farm. Children younger than 6 may draw pictures to complete their reports.
The only stipulations are that the child must be present to redeem the offer, and each child may only turn in two forms for a total of six rides during the course of the fair, with only one offer redeemable per day.
Not too shabby, right?
To further sweeten the deal, if you time your fair excursion to coincide with the children’s book drive taking place on Wednesday, July 25, you can also get in free by donating new and/or used books. From noon to 4 p.m., you can gain free admission to the fair for each new book or three gently used books you donate.
So, round up all the books you have forced your children to read this summer, and pass them on, so they can help torture, I mean enrich, other children, as well.
With these deals, you can hardly afford NOT to go to the fair! In fact, you might even have some cash left over to try out some of the fried Kool-Aid, or the Australian battered potatoes.
All joking aside, I commend the fair for providing a program highlighting the importance of literacy. Of course, the end goal is what it always is, to nurture in our children a life-long love of reading, and teach them the joy of knowledge.
While my kids might still need a few gentle nudges to get to the love part, they are learning that knowledge is power and there is wisdom to be gleaned from each title.
Sometimes the titles they choose are from a series like Bad Kitty, and you have to look a little harder for those nuggets of wisdom, but even then, they are there, I promise.
My 8-year-old has recently finished two books starring silverback gorillas, and can’t wait to visit them at the zoo. He is seeing that what we learn through reading makes our real-life experiences all the richer. In fact, this morning he barely grumbled when asked to read.
One more benefit this summer of having the meanest mother ever? All my kids have their six rides earned already. See you on the giant slide!
To download the book report form or for more information about the fair, visit ocfair.com/2012/dailyschedules/promotions.asp