If you ask me, there is not a single thing wrong with bribing/incentivizing young people to do things we know are good for them, especially when it comes to learning. The act of rewarding kids for good grades, usually with money or food, has been in practice for generations.

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The Evansville Vanderburgh Public Library (EVPL) is no stranger to this either. I'm not suggesting they are going to pay your child to read - that will be left up to you - but they do offer reading programs for younger students. They launched the 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten program back in 2019, challenging young students to read 1,000 books by the time they reach kindergarten.

This year, the EVPL has launched a brand new literacy program called 300 Books by 3rd Grade. As the name suggests, the goal here is to read 300 books before the first day of 3rd grade - and students will get rewarded for doing so. Why is the focus on 3rd grade? Why not have a program called 200 books by 2nd grade, or 400 books by 4th grade? The EVPL's Program Manager, Erika Qualls Barnett, explains the significance of 3rd grade in the following video.

If you have a child interested in participating, you can get signed up at any of the eight EVPL branches -  you can also get more info and get signed up online. Once you've signed up, it's time to start reading. Along the way, on your quest to reading 300 books, you will earn buttons once you reach certain milestones - once you've completed 50, 100, 150, 200, 250, and finally all 300 books.

See How School Cafeteria Meals Have Changed Over the Past 100 Years

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