ARI's Literacy Summer Fun!

Family Literacy Activities

Our Mission

The Alabama Reading Initiative (ARI) is a statewide K-3 initiative committed to supporting the development of high-quality instruction that will prepare all students with the literacy skills needed to meet or exceed grade-level standards. The goal of the ARI is to significantly improve reading instruction and ultimately achieve 100% literacy among public school students.

Summer Reading Camp & Alabama Summer Achievement Camp

Summer Reading Camp

Summer Reading Camp is a great opportunity for all students to enjoy learning to read in a relaxing and exciting way. On average, one month of learning and two months of reading are lost over the summer. Children risk losing many of the important skills they learn during the school year. Reading over the summer helps curb summer learning loss and builds good habits when school resumes in the fall. Check with your local school for more information about summer learning opportunities.

Alabama Summer Achievement Program

Alabama Summer Achievement Program will provide students entering Kindergarten through third grade with 60 hours of reading and literacy instruction. All K-3 students enrolled in public elementary schools who are eligible to attend will receive an invitation. Check with your local school to find out more information.
Summer Reading Song

How to get kids to read over the summer

Tips For Parents:
  • Set a goal together: Encourage your child to set reading goals at the beginning of summer. Make sure they are achievable and match your child's reading level. This may include finishing a certain number of books each week. Revisit these goals throughout the summer to make sure your child is on track.
  • Create a reward system: Create a reward system with your child for reaching certain milestones of the reading goals he or she has for the summer. A reward system will provide extra motivation to keep your child excited and engaged with reading.
  • Read with your child: There is no better way to have meaningful discussions about what your child is reading than by reading it together! Ask your child questions about the characters and events from the story to improve reading comprehension. Sparking conversations about the book shows your child you have an interest in his or her reading hobby.
  • Take day trips: Encourage reading by taking your child on field trips related to what he or she read. For example, if your child finished a book about dinosaurs, take him or her to a museum to explore exhibits and learn more. More examples include the McWane Science Center or a virtual field trip to the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles. These types of field trips are great motivators, and they encourage curiosity and self-directed learning.
  • Allow your child to pick his or her own books: Don't force your child to read something he or she doesn't have an interest in reading. Your child is more likely to read something he or she picked out.

Summer Literacy Activities

Water Balloon Toss Activity

For this activity, fill 15 water balloons and write some word endings on them. Examples are: - at, -an, -ar, -ug, and -in. Make 3 water balloons for each ending. Then write the following letters on paper: F, H, C, J, P, B, and M and taped the letter cards to the wall. Allow the child to pick a water balloon to make a word. Have the child read the word and throw the balloon on the letter to pop it.

You will need:

•Water balloons

•Permanent marker

•Index cards

High Frequency Word Hopscotch

Outside chalk games are great for nice, warm weather. Create the hopscotch path using sidewalk chalk. We have included a large list of high frequency words that you can use as you create the hopscotch game.

You will need:

Sidewalk Chalk

High Frequency Word List (Click Here)

Letters in the Kitchen

The perfect time to visit the beach is during the summer. While at the beach, your child can practice writing letters in the sand. What do you do if the beach is too far away? You can use a cookie pan and salt to practice writing letters or words.

You will need:

Cookie Pan


Beach Ball Toss

Grab a book and read with your child. After you read the story, toss a beach ball with comprehension questions on it. Ask your child to respond to the question that his thumbs land on or is closest to on the ball. Questions to consider writing on the beach ball: Where did the story take place? Who were the main characters? How do you think the characters felt during the story? What happened in the beginning of the story? What happened in the middle of the story? What happened at the end of the story?

You will need:

Beach Ball

Permanent Marker

Book to Read (We have included a video below of The Rainbow Fish if you do not have a book at home.)

[Special Effects] The Rainbow Fish | Read Aloud Books for Children

Suggested Books when visiting the library

Kindergarten Books

All About Oceans by Christina Mia Gardeski

What can you find in an ocean? From rolling waves above to swimming creatures below, the ocean is a busy place! Discovering facts about oceans and ocean life will captivate beginning readers.

Chicka Chicka ABC by Bill Martin and John Archambault

"A told B, and B told C, I'll beat you to the top of the coconut tree." Rascally A entices the whole alphabet up the tree, but the tree cannot handle the weight. All the lowercase letters come crashing to the ground. Uppercase letters rush in to comfort the little ones, and all is well -- for a while -- in this irresistible, award-winning alphabet book. Ehlert's bright, graphic illustrations join the foot-tapping rhyme.

Market Day by Eve Bunting

The finest lace from Donegal...sweet clover honey to melt in your mouth...a penny poke of gob stoppers from the sweetie stall...your future glimpsed in a crystal ball.... Hurry along! Thursday has arrived, and the streets of this tiny Irish village are chock-full of fun. What will you buy with your Market Day penny today?

First Grade Books

Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day by Judith Viorst

From the moment Alexander wakes up and finds gum in his hair, everything goes wrong! His brothers both get prizes in their cereal boxes, his best friend demotes him to third-best friend, there are lima beans for dinner, and there is kissing on TV. All kids experience this kind of day and will be glad to find they are not alone!

What a Waste: Trash, Recycling, and Protecting our Planet by Jess French

This educational book will teach young budding ecologists about how our actions affect planet Earth and the big impact we can make by the little things we do.

Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? by Bill Martin and Eric Carle

Eric Carle's double-page tissue collages and Bill Martin's friendly chant unite to create this vibrant introduction to colors. The first line of the book is the title, to which a big brown bear responds, "I see a redbird looking at me." The redbird responds with another animal and so on, until a mother (or a teacher, depending on the edition) asks a group of children what they see. A wonderful read-aloud for either a group or individuals, this book is a favorite of teachers.

Second Grade Books

The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein

A little boy befriends a tree. Loving and generous, the tree provides everything she can for him -- fruit, shade, a place for a swing -- throughout the boy's life. He, in turn, takes from the tree without noticing the sacrifices she makes. It isn't until he's old and infirm and gratefully rests on her stump that he understands all she has done. This powerful parable is fitting for all age groups.

Water: Up, Down, and All Around by Natalie Myra Rosinsky

Introduce young scientists to the basics of the water cycle! Through full-color photos and simple, easy-to-follow text, this nonfiction book introduces emergent readers to the importance of water, explaining evaporation and condensation, dew and frost, and the three states of water.

Flat Stanley by Jeff Brown

Stanley Lambchop is a nice, average boy. He leads a nice, ordinary life. Then one day a bulletin board falls on him, and suddenly Stanley is flat. This turns out to be very interesting. Stanley gets rolled up, mailed, and flown like a kite. He even gets to stop crime. He's flat, but he's a hero!

Third Grade Readers Books

Miss Nelson Is Missing! by Harry Allard

The children in Miss Nelson's class go beyond misbehaving; they are downright terrible! Near her wits' end, Miss Nelson thinks up a brilliant plan. The next day the kids have a substitute -- the nasty Viola Swamp -- who loads the boys and girls with homework and never gives them a story hour. By the time Miss Nelson finally returns, the children are so grateful they behave well. But now Viola Swamp is missing!

Whale vs. Giant Squid (Who Would Win?) by Jerry Pallotta

What would happen if a whale and a giant squid met each other? What if they had a fight? Who do you think would win?

This nonfiction Reader compares and contrasts two fearsome sea creatures. Kids learn about a whale and a giant squid's anatomy, behavior, and more. Book is packed with photos, charts, illustrations, and amazing facts.

Ramona Quimby, Age 8 by Beverly Cleary

Ramona feels quite grown-up taking the bus by herself, helping big sister Beezus make dinner, and trying hard to be nice to pesky Willa Jean after school. Turning eight years old and entering the third grade can do that to a girl. So how can her teacher call her a nuisance?

Additional Resources

Reading Rockets - Summer Adventure

The school bell may stop ringing, but summer is a great time for all kinds of learning opportunities for kids. Reading Rockets is packed full of activities and resources to help families get ready for summer and to launch fun, enriching summertime experiences.

Resources - Alabama Partnership for Children

The APC has compiled resources surrounding a FOCUS (Focus On Children Under Six) topic for all organizations that request the information for distribution in local communities. It is our hope that the FOCUS resources will provide more attention to birth-to-five topics statewide.

The Alabama Family Central is a single platform for families to access services and programs. Its purpose is to help families easily navigate and find links to support their needs. State agency partners include Departments of Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention, Early Childhood Education, Education, Human Resources, Medicaid, Mental Health, Public Health, Rehabilitation Services/Early Intervention, with support from the Office of Information Technology

Starfall Education: Kids Games, Movies, & Books K-3

Starfall provides free resources that can be used at home to support reading. These interactive activities place emphasis on phonemic awareness, phonics, and common sight words. Starfall's systematic approach, in conjunction with audiovisual interactivity, is prefect for Pre K-3, special education, homeschool, and English language development (ELD,ELL,ESL).

Dance and move to a summertime groove

Summer Songs for Kids | I Love Summertime | The Singing Walrus
Big picture


"Alabama Literacy Act ," link act2019-523.pdf (

Education World | Connecting educators to what works. Retrieved May 3, 2022, from

Pink Penguiny. (2017, November 4). The Rainbow Fish,

Reading Rockets | Launching Young Readers. Retrieved May 3, 2022, from

Starfall Education: Kids Games, Movies, & Books K-3. Retrieved May 3, 2022, from

The Singing Walrus. (2016, May 26). Summer Songs for Kids. [