Children urged to join reading challenge

CHILDREN in Hanham and Longwell Green are being urged to take part in this year’s Summer Reading Challenge.

Pupils from Barley Close Community Primary School took part in an educational workshop run by the University of the West of England’s School of Engineering at Downend Library to kick off the holiday reading event.

Libraries and the Reading Agency have partnered with the Youth Sport Trust for this year’s challenge, called ‘Ready, Set, Read!’, which has a sports, games and play theme to highlight the positive impact that reading, keeping active, and having fun have on a child’s development.

From now until September 9 children aged between four and 11 can sign up at their local library during staffed opening hours and collect a free goodie bag to get them started.

They then read books of their choice over the summer holidays and collect stickers to complete a collectors’ card, receiving a medal and certificate once it’s completed.

The aim of the challenge is to help children become more independent readers and improve reading confidence over the summer break from school.

Council cabinet member for libraries Leigh Ingham said: “We know that children’s reading can dip during the long summer holidays without regular access to books and encouragement to read for pleasure.

“The Challenge increases children’s reading engagement and confidence and it’s free to participate, which will help with family budgets feeling the impact of cost-of-living pressures at present.

“There are lots of free activities taking place at our libraries over the summer which are great for keeping the children occupied and having fun; my advice to parents is to take the children along to your local library and see what is on offer.”

For more information on the Summer Reading Challenge visit