West Lancashire MP Rosie Cooper is encouraging all primary school children to take part in The Reading Agency’s Summer Reading Challenge. The Challenge launches in England and Wales on Saturday 9 July (although regional variations may apply).
Through taking part in the Challenge, with free packs from public libraries and through the digital platform, children will be able to join six fictional ‘Gadgeteers.’ The characters – brought to life by children’s writer and illustrator Julian Beresford – use their curiosity and wonder to understand the science behind a whole range of interests from fashion and technology to cooking and music.
The Challenge and its innovation-themed book collection will show that imagination can unlock endless possibilities, and the library is where this starts. This list includes numerous options spanning picture books, early reader books and middle grade titles by leading authors and illustrators, including: Dr Maggie Aderin-Pocock, Melissa Castrillon, Sunita Chawdhary, Alex Falase-Koya, Saadia Faruqi, Vashti Hardy, Caryl Hart, SJ King, Katy Riddell, Dr Ranj Singh, Lydia Corry, and Leo Timmers, amongst many others.
Rosie Cooper MP commented:
“Reading opens up a world of opportunity, enabling children’s imaginations and comprehension to grow from an early age helping them to achieve throughout their lives.
“I’m pleased to be supporting the Reading Agency’s summer Reading Challenge encouraging more children to read, to join their local libraries and for their families to help their children to access these free facilities.
“The more reading that can be done over the summer months, the better equipped these pupils will be returning to school in September, and after the disruption to education caused by the lockdowns and isolation, this could be a great boost for our young people in West Lancashire.”
The Summer Reading Challenge reaches over 700,000 children across the UK each year and is delivered in partnership with public libraries. The Challenge continued to reach well over half a million children across the UK in 2021 as lockdowns eased, motivating children to keep reading during a difficult time. Families shared with The Reading Agency the ways that taking part in the Summer Reading Challenge helped their children to enjoy reading more, feel more confident about reading and ‘feel better’ during a tough period. Family use of libraries also increased amongst Challenge participants, with more than 130,000 children joining the library as new members.
Since 1999, the popular Challenge has encouraged children to read for pleasure over the summer holidays, building reading skills and confidence and helping to prevent the ‘dip’ in reading skills while children are out of school. By providing fun reading activities, the Challenge will support families and teachers by providing free-to-access recreation and learning resources – all created to keep children inspired to read. The digital Summer Reading Challenge platform will encourage children with limited physical access to the library to take part in the Challenge. This year’s Challenge is also being supported by Pearson (sponsoring the digital platform’s School Zone) and Explore Learning (sponsoring the digital platform’s Library Zone).
For more information, visit www.summerreadingchallenge.org.uk.