Ten Reason Your Kids Should Participate in a Summer Reading Program

by Rebecca J. Gomez When my kids were young, summer reading programs were a sure thing. For the most part, my children were avid readers, especially my girls. A summer reading program wasn't necessary to encourage them to read, but we participated because it was a fun addition to summer. And the free pizza, books, and water park tickets definitely didn't hurt! There are lots of reasons to participate in a summer reading program or challenge, and here are ten of them: 1. Many summer reading programs offer prizes. And while we all know that reading is its own reward, some kids haven't figured that out yet. For those kids, a prize is just the incentive they need to stick their noses in a book now and then over the summer. 2. It's a fun way to reward those kids who will be reading no matter what! 3. For some families, trips to the library may help break up summer monotony.  4. Summer reading programs promote reading together as a family, especially for those with very young

Read, Discuss, Do Snack and Story: Tortilla Pizzas

by Rebecca J. Gomez

When my kids were younger, tortilla pizzas were a favorite light lunch at our house, and we still have them on occasion. They are quick and easy, totally customizable, and we almost always have the ingredients on hand. It's a simple, fun, delicious meal to share together on a Saturday afternoon. And when you pair this with story time, that's all the better!

What better book to pair this treat with than A Pizza With Everything On It? When a young boy and his father decide to make a pizza with everything on it (Everything? Everything!), they end up with an enormous pizza that is much more than they bargained for. This is a colorful, creative, over-the-top story that is sure to elicit some laughs (and maybe a few hunger pangs). Enjoy the story, then make some delicious pizzas of your own! 

READ: A Pizza With Everything On It by Kyle Scheele, illustrated by Andy J. Pizza (yes, you read that right) 


  • What are your favorite pizza toppings?
  • What is the strangest pizza topping you've ever heard of?
  • What do you think would really happen if someone tried to put everything on a pizza?
  • Pretend you're going to make a pizza with items from your house as toppings. What would you include?
  • Have you ever worked on a project that got a little out of hand? Share what happened.
DO: Make tortilla pizzas for a hearty snack or a light lunch. 

Tortilla Pizzas

You will need: 
  • 4 to 6 flour tortillas - fajita size
  • 1 8oz can tomato sauce (or puree for thicker pizza sauce)
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • a pinch of garlic powder
  • a pinch of onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • mozzarella cheese (or a pizza cheese blend)
  • your favorite pizza toppings 
  • a large baking sheet, greased lightly with shortening
Note: You can use store bought pizza sauce if you prefer.

To make the pizzas:
  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Make the sauce. Mix together tomato sauce or puree, spices, and sugar. Set aside for about ten minutes.
  3. Prepare your toppings, if desired. 
  4. Place tortillas on greased baking sheet. Use a spoon to spread the sauce almost to the edge of each tortilla. 
  5. Add your cheese and toppings. 
  6. Bake pizzas about ten minutes, or until cheese is melted and bubbly and the edges of the tortillas start to crisp. 
  7. Enjoy!