Remember the days when kids actually read books AND enjoyed them? Looking at kids today, it's kind of surprising at how little many of them read!
I remember in First Grade, for every 20 or so books that we read, our teacher would take us on a lunch date to the nearby McDonalds. Often times it would be a 1-on-1 with our awesome teacher, but occasionally there would be multiple kids who hit their book quota all in the same week. It was a pretty neat incentive to get us to read! And to verify, we had to have a part sign off on a sheet stating we read whatever book we took home.
Also, my school participated in the Pizza Hut "Book-It!" program. There would be a set number of books for every student read each quarter and the teacher would keep track, again using a form that your parents would sign off on stating you read the book, and for every quarter you reached the goal you would get a pass to Pizza Hut where you'd get a free personal pan pizza PLUS a gold star sticker for your "Book-It!" button. If an entire classroom reached their goal for the quarter, Pizza Hut would come and have a pizza party for just that class, so it encouraged us to encourage each other to read so we could all meet the common goal.
Currently my former school does the Accelerated Reader (AR) program, where you read books off the AR list that are in your reading range and then take a quiz on the books. You need to get so many points per book and then have a certain total of points by the end of the quarter. I remember my sis doing this and my little cousin does it now, but it doesn't seem like there's much of an incentive to do it other than it affects their grade if they don't do it. Yes, it's sad that there needs to be an incentive nowadays to get kids to read, but at least it gives them a fun reason to read.
Another thing I enjoyed was getting the regular Scholastic Book Club fliers every few months that would go out with our papers to take home. I remember flipping through these fliers, marking them up and circling all the books I was interested in and wanted. The majority of the time my parents would say no, because they cost so much, but occasionally they would give in and let me get a few.
I guess they still do hand these out to the kids, although my aunt's been a bit disappointed, as my cousin's teacher tends to always forget to pass them out so her class never gets them.
I also LOVED the Scholastic Book Fairs we'd have once a year at school.
I remember one of the representatives would come and spend allllllll day lining our main hallways with tables of books! And during the end of the school day, the day of the fair, our teachers would let us go out and browse the book selections, writing down which ones were on our wish lists so it would make things easier for our parents that night when they came. I remember what an ordeal it was when Book Fair night came - the hallways were crowded with my fellow students and their parents, kids grabbing for books, hoping they weren't getting the ones I wanted as I didn't want them to sell out! I never got all the books that were on my wish lists, but mom and dad would let me get an arm full to keep me stocked up on my reading for awhile.
Do they still have book fairs in schools? I haven't been actively kept up to date on elementary schools in years.