National "Summer Reading Challenge" now underway
Children’s Laureate Julia Donaldson has launched a national ‘Summer Reading Challenge’ for every child to read six books from their local library.
At Lewis Carroll Children’s Library in London, Children’s Laureate Julia Donaldson launched the challenge, which is organised by the national charity The Reading Agency and run in libraries throughout Great Britain from Saturday 14 July until September.
The launch coincides with the publication of new research commissioned by The Reading Agency and carried out by Ipsos MORI, which found that less than two-thirds of parents (61%) of primary school age children have registered their children at their local library, or borrowed books to encourage their children to read. The Summer Reading Challenge is for every child aged 4-11 years to read six books of their choice from their local library during the summer holidays. Children earn stickers along the way and get a certificate or “Olympic style” medal when they complete the Challenge. Over 20 popular children’s authors are supporting the campaign including award-winning writers Malorie Blackman, Julia Donaldson, Charlie Higson, Anthony Horowitz, Michael Morpurgo, Michael Rosen and Jacqueline Wilson.
“The Summer Reading Challenge brings together two of my favourite things – reading and libraries. It’s free, it’s a fun thing to do in the summer holidays and it’s going to create lots of life-long readers. So let’s get hundreds of thousands of children joining in and earning ‘Olympic style’ medals,” said Julia Donaldson.
“We must not deny a single child the library’s help – children who use libraries are twice as likely to be above average readers. No home library can ever provide the rich reading support on offer in public libraries. Let’s make this summer one about building a fairer society by introducing every family to libraries‘ vibrant, motivating support to help turn children into readers for life,” added Miranda McKearney, Chief Executive of The Reading Agency.
The research, which was carried out by Ipsos MORI amongst 504 parents of primary school aged children, also found that almost half of parents surveyed (48%) think electronic items such as iPads and Kindles encourage children to read more. A quarter of parents (26%) have bought their children an electronic reading aid such as a Leap Frog Tag or LeapPad, V-Tech and 16% have either bought their child an E-Reader or Tablet or let them use theirs to read.
This is a great initiative and is being run in 97% of all libraries. For more information, visit http://summerreadingchallenge.org.uk/