I’m supporting a campaign run by charity The Reading Agency to encourage all primary school children to take part in this year’s Summer Reading Challenge. The Challenge launches across England and Wales on Saturday 13 July (although regional variations may apply).
Research shows that reading for pleasure is a more powerful factor in life achievement than socio-economic background and that children who use libraries are twice as likely to be above average readers. The Summer Reading Challenge builds confidence and independent reading, while helping to prevent the dip in children’s reading levels during the long summer break from school.
The Summer Reading Challenge is a unique partnership between The Reading Agency and public libraries across the UK. Last year around 700,000 children took part borrowing, reading and talking about their favourite books.
This year's theme for the Summer Reading Challenge is Space Chase, inspired by the 50th anniversary of the first moon landing.
To take part in Space Chase, all children need to do is to head to their local library. There they will be given a special mission folder to keep track of the six library books they'll be reading over the summer as part of the Challenge. There are also lots of collectible incentives to help motivate them in their reading mission!
“I hope parents, grandparents and carers in East Worthing and Shoreham will take their children to the library over the summer to sign up for the Summer Reading Challenge. It’s free, inclusive and, most importantly, makes reading fun. Last year 13737 children in West Sussex took part. I hope we can increase that number this year and remind local libraries what a valuable asset they are to us and our community.”
Children can use the special website spacechase.org.uk to create a profile, chat about books, and get help on what to read next, via the digital Book Sorter which already offers over 900,000 peer to peer children’s book recommendations in child-friendly categories.
The Summer Reading Challenge reaches children and young people of all ages. For pre-schoolers there is a mini challenge, while young people (aged 13 to 24) can volunteer and support younger children taking part. Volunteering provides a quality workplace experience for young people in libraries, inspires them to think about their future career and increases their employability as they gain useful life skills and confidence. Last year over 6,790 young people across the UK volunteered.
For more information on the Summer Reading Challenge including how to get involved and resources for schools, go to www.readingagency.org.uk/summerreadingchallenge
Follow the Summer Reading Challenge at www.facebook.com/SummerReadingChallengeUK and on Twitter @readingagency #summerreadingchallenge