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Suffolk Libraries appeals for help with Summer Reading Challenge

Written by · Published Apr 18, 2018

We’re hoping for yet another successful summer of reading as we launch this year’s Summer Reading Challenge with an appeal for volunteers.

The Summer Reading Challenge takes place every year during the summer holidays and helps to get three quarters of a million children into libraries across the country. This year’s theme is ‘Mischief Makers’, inspired by the much-loved iconic children’s title the Beano, which celebrates its 80th anniversary this year.

The scheme challenges children aged 4-11 to read six library books of their choice over the summer holidays. They collect special stickers and other incentives along the way, and winners receive a certificate and other goodies at a presentation at their local library in the autumn. It will be running in all 44 of our libraries as well as our weekly Suffolk Libraries Local sessions in Shotley and Rushmere.

Visiting the library to choose and talk about books is an important part of the campaign and volunteers of all ages over 12 are always needed to help out. You just need to be able to come to the library of your choice for an hour or two every week during the holidays.

You can find out more about volunteering for the Summer Reading Challenge and sign up online in our Summer Reading Challenge section. Alternatively, you can register as a volunteer by contacting your local library.

Children will be able to sign up for the Summer Reading Challenge just before the summer holidays and there will be more details available in libraries nearer the time. Volunteers will be reading with and talking to children but are always supervised by staff and never left on their own with a child.

The Summer Reading Challenge is a fun and engaging way of encouraging children to keep reading during the long summer holidays when reading can dip if they don’t have regular access to books and encouragement to read for pleasure. The campaign is produced by the Reading Agency and delivered by libraries.

In 2017, 8,362 children took part in the Summer Reading Challenge in Suffolk - the highest number ever. This was the fifth consecutive year this number increased. Children taking part last year read over 85,000 books, and nearly 2,300 registered for their first library card.

Krystal Vittles, Suffolk Libraries development manager and children’s lead, said: “The Summer Reading Challenge can make a difference to a child’s literacy skills at an important time in their development and we’ve been thrilled to see more and more children taking part every year.

“The role of volunteers is vital and we’re always keen to get people on board as early as we can to make the campaign as successful as possible. It’s a great opportunity to get some experience working with children, it’s very rewarding and is something people of all ages can get involved with.”

There is no other free reading activity that involves so many children, introduces families to their library, encourages children to choose books freely and independently and is endorsed by parents, teachers and the Department for Education. For more information visit the Summer Reading Challenge website.