Freebies for your kids this summer

Posted in Free, rewards, summer
by Jennifer

School’s out, and you’re probably plowing through piles of papers dislodged from their desks and lockers and stuffed into their backpacks.

If you’re a good mom, you’ll sort through that junk now — instead of waiting until mid-August, when you’re in back-to-school mode. I confess, I have fallen into both camps over the years.

Before you file away that report card, though, take it — and your child — over to Family Video on South Broadway Street in Medina. For every A on his or her report card (or “O” [for "outstanding"] in my first-grader’s case) you will receive a coupon for a free one-night video or game rental.

When my kids went yesterday, they came away with seven and nine coupons each, which we thought was very generous! The coupons all must be used by the end of June, so I see some movie and game marathons in our future. Last night, my 14-year-old daughter rented “Crazy Stupid Love” — which, I will say, wasn’t entirely appropriate for her, despite its PG-13 rating, but my husband and I thought it was really good.

My 7-year-old used his coupon for a Mario game for the Wii, which he’s playing this afternoon between running around with his neighborhood friends. My 4-year-old didn’t have a report card, but he got a free movie as well, thanks to the chain’s policy of free family movie rentals. He selected a “Star Wars: Clone Wars” cartoon video, which he can keep for five days.

But you can’t spend the month watching movies and playing video games. Encourage your children to take a book outside to the hammock.

Here are two reading programs with great rewards:

* When your children finish eight books, they are eligible for a free book from Barnes & Noble‘s Reading Journal list. Visit here for a pdf of the journal on which your children can record the books they read. The nearest Barnes & Noble is at 4015 Medina Road, Fairlawn (in the Montrose shopping area).

* While they’re at it, children 14 and younger can earn $5 to spend at Half-Price Books if they read for 300 minutes or more this summer. At Half-Price Books, $5 can go pretty far.

It doesn’t take long to get to 300 minutes, either. That’s just 10 days of reading for 30 minutes. Download the log here and track your reading as you go.

And here’s one more good freebie for you baseball fans. It’s not too late to register for the Cleveland Indians High Achievers Club, where you can earn free tickets to Indians’ games for submitting your children’s grades and short (2-sentence) reports on books your children have read.

Available for children in kindergarten through 8th grade, students who earn As and Bs (or at least a 3.0 GPA) and submit the short book reports can get up to eight tickets each to Indians games. What’s really cool is that the tickets can be stacked, so you can take your whole family or even make it a birthday party. Click here to see the whole program details. We’ve found the tickets available to the High Achievers Club are actually in pretty good locations. Report cards and book reports are accepted through Sept. 17.

I’ll post more as we uncover them!

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