Libraries encourage children to go wild with the Summer Reading Challenge

Leeds Libraries, in partnership with the Reading Agency, is encouraging more families than ever to get involved with reading over the summer holidays through the Summer Reading Challenge.

Now in its 22nd year, the Summer Reading Challenge inspires children to read for pleasure over the summer and tackle the dip in reading that happens over the school holidays.

The theme of this year’s challenge is ‘Wild World Heroes’, which has been developed in partnership with WWF and gets children thinking about the importance of the environment. By taking part in the challenge, children will be guided by six fictional Wild World Heroes that will help them discuss environmental issues and learn about nature along the way.

As part of the Summer Reading Challenge, children aged 4-11 and their families are encouraged to read or listen to six or more story books, fact books or poetry books, and complete a fun activity pack as they go. All books from the Wild World Heroes book collection can be borrowed for free from the library and children can collect a Wild World Heroes reward for each book they read. Every child that completes the challenge will be awarded a certificate and a gold medal.

To take part, families can sign up for free at their local library as part of Sign-up Saturday on 10 July 2021 between 10am and 1pm, or by visiting the Summer Reading Challenge website. Fun library activities, including taking part in a character hunt and picking up a Wild World Heroes activity pack, will take place in line with social distancing and safety measures will be in place for those planning to attend.

On Sign-up Saturday, the Leeds Libraries story buses, Nelly and Sam, will also be going on a wild adventure exploring the city. Families can stop by and listen to fun outdoor readings performed by storytellers.

The bus will be calling at Dewsbury Road Community Hub (11:35am-12pm) and Middleton Park Visitor Centre (12:20-12:50pm). The full locations of where to find the story buses can be found on this online map.

In the run up to the Summer Reading Challenge, librarians have been encouraging residents to share photos of themselves reading outside with nature through the hashtag #LeedsWildReads. Families taking part in the challenge or anyone enjoying a good book surrounded by nature can get involved by using the hashtag on social media.

Councillor Mary Harland, Leeds City Council’s executive member for communities, said:

“I’m delighted that Leeds Libraries is encouraging even more families to get involved with the Summer Reading Challenge this year. Not only is the challenge a fun way to find out more about nature, but it is also a great way to connect more families through reading whilst also helping to build essential skills.”

Councillor Jonathan Pryor, Leeds City Council’s executive member for economy, culture and education, said:

“Reading plays a fundamental role in developing children’s language and educational attainment skills. We’re committed to making sure every child across Leeds has access to reading and the Summer Reading Challenge is an excellent opportunity to encourage children and their families to enjoy the benefits of reading and build their confidence and reading abilities.”

Andrea Ellison, Chief Librarian, said:

“Leeds Libraries has a great children’s programme and our librarians have adapted to the challenges of the pandemic by offering our activities and events digitally over the past year. The Summer Reading Challenge is a really valuable way of getting children reading for fun over the holidays and I’d encourage families to get involved by signing up online or visiting their local library if possible.”

Anyone unable to sign up on 10 July can still get involved any point over the summer holidays by visiting their local library or signing up online: summerreadingchallenge.org.uk

 

This post is based on a press release issued by Leeds City Council

 

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