Children involved with Music Compound will be reading not only music this summer but books as well.
Music Compound’s Sarasota and Bradenton locations are offering its Rock Your Summer Reading Program for the third year. The program is open to any school-aged children in Sarasota and Manatee counties and will run June 1 to Aug. 31.
The more books a child reads, the more prizes can be earned.
Children will receive a reading passport and be able to turn in a book submission form online sharing what book they read.
Music Compound started the Rock Your Summer Reading program during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Jenny Townsend, the owner of Music Compound, remembered growing up and reading books to earn prizes from Pizza Hut. Using her childhood as inspiration, she wanted to encourage children to read in a fun way.
“Kids nowadays just get lost in electronics or TV,” said Alyssa Martin, the studio manager for Music Compound. “They don’t want to read, and reading is so important. It helps you grow into a good human.”
Rock Your Summer Reading gave Music Compound a way to collaborate with other local business owners to not only encourage children to read but also support the businesses during the pandemic.
“It’s wonderful how many local businesses have been willing to partner with us and participate in our adventure to get kids reading over the summer,” Martin said. “It shows how awesome of a community we all live in.”
Last year, 86 children participated in the reading program, reading approximately 3,400 books. Of the 86 children who participated, 43 children qualified for the grand prize drawing by reading at least 50 books.
“The kids feel accomplished and proud of themselves for reaching that level,” Martin said. “A lot of times, they’ll come in and the kids are so excited to show how much they’ve read and collect their prizes.”
This year’s grand prize is a party for up to 20 people in Sarasota Music Compound’s Studio 32 with pizza, a bounce house, a photo booth and cookies.
The winner of the grand prize will be announced Sept. 8.
Children interested in learning about writing can attend the workshops hosted by Sarasota 11-year-old Sienna Alfano. Alfano published her own book, “The Mysterious Notes,” and wants to help others write their own books.
The dates for the workshops, which are open to children ages 8 to 13, have not been set.
Liz Ramos covers education and community for East County. Before moving to Florida, Liz was an education reporter for the Lynchburg News & Advance in Virginia for two years after graduating from the Missouri School of Journalism.