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Spine-Tingling Adventures For This Year's Summer Reading Challenge

Author: Anna Copperwheat, Media Officer, CBC Published: 16th July 2013 14:31

Summer Reading Challenge Children across Central Bedfordshire can take part in a hair-raising Summer Reading Challenge this year.

Libraries across the area are gearing up for the annual Challenge, which encourages children to read six or more books over the summer to collect prizes.

This year the theme is Creepy House and children of any age can explore The Awful Upstairs, The Gruesome Ground Floor and The Spine-tingling Cellar.

The Summer Reading Challenge is free for all children to take part in. They receive a certificate for reading six books, a wristband for twelve and a medal for eighteen. Those who take part can also register on the interactive website (http://summerreadingchallenge.org.uk/), set up by the Reading Agency which co-ordinates the Challenge.

Creepy House ChallengeLast year, more that 52,000 books were read as part of the Challenge in Central Bedfordshire. Any books can be chosen - from fact books to joke books - and the Challenge across the country helps gets three quarters of a million children into libraries each summer to keep up their reading skills and confidence.

Cllr Brian Spurr, Executive Member for Sustainable Communities, Services, said: "This year's challenge sounds fantastic - it's free and fun and will really give children a chance to let their imagination go wild.

"Our library staff are all ready to help children get started with the challenge and choose their books. It gives children a personal challenge that builds their confidence and love of reading at the same time. You can sign up at your local library from now until 7 September."

The interactive website links children with top authors and illustrators and gives them space to talk about their favourite books and to share reading ideas. The children will be able to create a profile on the website and enter special codes from the stickers they‘re given at the library. Children receive stickers for reading six books and can then use the code to view a special animation just for them. They can also read and watch video messages from Blue Peter, Children's Laurete Malorie Blackman and footballer Frank Lampard.

As an added bonus, Wates Family Enterprise Trust is sponsoring all the books read and the money raised will go to Keech Cottage Children's Hospice.

For more information on the challenge or about other exciting events in the Library Service's jam-packed summer schedule, visit www.centralbedfordshire.gov.uk/libraries.

The Summer Reading Challenge is the UK's biggest annual reading promotion. It is an immensely popular and successful reading initiative. Now in its fifteenth successful year it reaches 780,000 children aged four to 11 years annually via the UK library network. It is created and run by The Reading Agency, the independent charity working to inspire more people to read more, and is supported by children's authors and publishers.

"Our research shows that children really enjoy taking part in the Summer Reading Challenge," says Anne Sarrag, Summer Reading Challenge director for The Reading Agency. "It's a great way to keep them entertained over the holidays, but more importantly, we know that children who take part read more books and read more widely than those who don't, with potentially life-changing results".

The Reading Agency is an independent charity working to inspire more people to read more. It is funded by the Arts Council and the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council. (http://www.readingagency.org.uk/)

Importance of reading for pleasure for children's life chances: Reading for Change, OECD, 2002. This showed that students who were more enthusiastic about and engaged in reading performed better in tests, and that being a frequent reader was more of an advantage, on its own, than wealth or social status.

For more information about Summer Reading Challenge volunteering opportunities for young people, please visit: www.readingagency.org.uk/young/volunteering/

The Summer Reading Challenge 2012 report showed that:

98% of UK libraries ran the Story Lab Summer Reading Challenge

322,500 or 43% of participants were boys

Children doing the Challenge read more than 3 million books over the summer holidays

48,000 children created profiles on the website, logging 100,000 books on the Booksorter

349,400 children attended 13,700 Story Lab events organised by libraries

The Summer Reading Challenge was part of the Olympics ' London 2012 Festival, highlighting libraries' vital cultural and educational role.

(images: CBC)


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