Panda Express “Read with Me” Program Rewards Reading

image of chinese takeout containers on a table with stacks of books nearby

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What do Panda Express and homeschool kids have in common? More than you’d think! I recently discovered the Panda Express “Read with Me” program and, whether you’re a homeschool parent or a traditional teacher…you gonna love it!

If you know me, you know I’m ALL about any sort of programs that encourage kids to read. Spending afternoons reading books was a positive part of my childhood, so I’m all for encouraging kids to do the same.

While my kids already participate in reading programs from Pizza Hut and Barnes & Noble, I was scrolling through Facebook one day when I noticed a post in a group about the Panda Express reading program. My scroll immediately screeched to a halt and I legit yelled “whaaaaaat?!” out loud. Yes, my family was confused, but they really shouldn’t be. I mean, I get excited about random things all the time (don’t you?).

text "Kids can earn FREE Panda Express, learn how!" with an image of chinese takeout food on a brown placemat
PIN for later!

Anyways, I did a quick Google search for “Panda Express Reading Program” and came upon their “Read with Me” program. And, let me tell you, if your kids love Chinese food (read: you like being able to take a break from making a meal) and you’re looking for a way to encourage them to read more…you should sign up!

It’s super easy to sign up for the reading program! And, if you ask me, free Panda Express is always a good thing, right?!

Basics of the Panda Express “Read with Me” Reading Program

You can get all the details on the Panda Express “Read with Me” website, but here’s the basics:

  • The Read with Me Program is open to elementary-age kids (ages 5-12)
    • along with traditional classrooms, homeschool kids ARE eligible!
  • this program is totally FREE!
  • After completing a reading goal (the website suggests 5 books, but you could always increase that goal), enrolled students are rewarded with a code that can be redeemed for a free Panda Express Kid’s Meal!
  • for classrooms/families with fewer than 15 children, rewards will be provided digitally upon acceptance into the program
  • children can be enrolled in the Read with Me program throughout the year, but they do stop accepting calendar-year enrollments 4 weeks before December 31.

After I finished reading through the details, I submitted all my info to apply for enrollment in the program. It did take about a week or so to get my application approved, so be prepared to check your email pretty often for that acceptance email. (we like Chinese food, what can I say…of course I was checking my inbox nonstop).

text: "Acceptance email comes with an editable PowerPoint award and downloadable coupon codes" with image of Panda Express Read with Me acceptance email and an image of the award.
My Panda Express Read with Me acceptance email arrived about a week after I applied.

If you’re a homeschooling parent like me, you probably have fewer than 15 children (I might be wrong, though), so your rewards will be provided right away. If you’re a teacher in a traditional school setting, or have more than 15 children, you’ll be able to get your rewards after your kids/students have completed their reading program requirements.

Either way, definitely check out these 13 ways to get access to cheap or free books for kids and consider getting the kids some fun, seasonal bookmarks to use while they’re reading!

Once the kids have achieved their reading goals, the hard decision will really begin: honey sesame chicken or beef and broccoli?

Until next time, stay safe and enjoy quality time with your family,

- Elizabeth (and the kids. and the husband. even the dog.)

Elizabeth Dukart is a proud Georgia-based born and raised Jersey Girl, wife, and mom of 2 human boys & 1 canine boy.

Created in 2021, Elizabeth owns and publishes That Homeschool Family: a free resource for homeschooling parents and beyond! A seasoned blogger, Elizabeth previously published a popular location-specific family resource blog, but decided to “Pivot!” her blogging focus after she started homeschooling her two boys in 2020. In addition to this blog, you can follow Elizabeth’s homeschooling and family adventures on Facebook, TikTok, Instagram, YouTube, and Pinterest. She can also be found in her Facebook Group: That Homeschool Family Hangout.

When she’s not busy taking over the world or homeschooling, Elizabeth can be found listening to music (especially The Beatles & Harry Styles!), being silly with her boys, watching movies with family, shopping, or traveling!

Have a question or want to work with Elizabeth? Send her an email!

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