Children from across Staffordshire are being invited to take part in this year’s Summer Reading Challenge to help encourage reading over the summer holidays. Thousands of children are expected to sign up for the campaign being delivered by Staffordshire County Council’s Libraries Service in partnership with national charity, the Reading Agency. This year’s theme is Wild World Heroes and will run throughout the summer holidays. Children aged 4 to 11 will be able to collect stickers along the way and a medal and certificate when they complete their challenge. Families will also be encouraged to share their reading activity on social media with the hashtag #SummerOfReading and tag @readingagency. Alongside the challenge, Staffordshire Libraries and Arts service will also be delivering a series of online arts activities and workshops through the ‘Go Wild’ Creative Explorer’s programme, including an opportunity for children to complete a free National Arts Award. Victoria Wilson, Cabinet Member for Communities and Culture at Staffordshire County Council said: “The Summer Reading Challenge is a brilliant scheme that we look forward to each year. Keeping young children reading and learning during the summer months is important and the challenge allows them to do it in a fun way. It also helps keep the boredom at bay and gives parents some readily available activities to do with their children. “In addition to this year’s Summer of Reading, our libraries team are also running Wild Wednesdays throughout August with lots of online fun family activities planned for each week. There’s lots of information about the activities and how to get involved on the libraries Facebook page and on Twitter, so make sure you’re following them for all the latest activities.” Karen Napier, CEO, The Reading Agency said: "We are delighted to be collaborating with such a wonderful range of partners for the Summer of Reading. After a hugely challenging year, we are acutely aware of the pressure on families and teachers, and the vital need to tackle the attainment gap and ensure children and young people have access to fun reading activity. “Last year's Reading Together Day showed the power in collaboration and the appetite across the country for summer reading events and resources, and we are hugely grateful to all the organisations participating this year in yet another hugely important summer initiative to share the proven power of reading." Culture Minister Caroline Dinenage said: "Reading is powerful: it teaches us new things, opens our minds, and inspires our creativity. Bringing together a brilliant network of libraries and other organisations, this new initiative will provide fantastic reading events and resources, helping to reach those who need support the most." Staffordshire libraries have so much more than just books these days. Parent and baby sessions, meeting rooms, ICT training, local history events, reading clubs are available at most libraries. You can find more about Staffordshire libraries at Events at your library - Staffordshire County Council. Families can also sign up for Discover Arts Award and find out more about the ‘Go Wild Programme’ at www.staffslibrariesculture.wordpress.com/creative-explorers
People can find out more about the Summer of Reading at Summer of Reading | Reading Agency.