Sunday, 26 July 2015

It's time for the Summer Reading Challenge!

It’s July, it’s the summer holidays which means only one thing and that is that the Summer Reading Challenge (SRC for short) is happening in libraries up and down the UK. It’s something I remember very well and have very fond memories of both from taking part every year as a child - I still have my certificates and medals in a folder somewhere - and from working in a library for almost six years. Indeed it’s at this time of year that library staff really pull out all the stops for children, encouraging them to join the SRC and holding a number of other fun activities, including arts and crafts, for them to get involved with. 

The SRC is an annual event which is run by the Reading Agency with the aim of encouraging children aged between 4 and 11 to go into their local library and read at least six books over the summer holidays. There is a different theme each year - this year it’s Record Breakers - and the best thing is that, as long as the books children read are library books from the children’s section they can read whatever they want, be it fiction or non-fiction. 

When a child first registers for the SRC they will receive an explanation as to how it works and will then be given a chart on which they can stick the stickers they collect throughout the challenge and record the details of the books they read. From then on every time they return to the library after finishing a book they will be asked a few questions on what they have read and will then be given their stickers and various other rewards. At the end of the challenge, after finishing all six books they will then be presented with a certificate, medal and lots of praise. 

I cannot recommend the SRC highly enough - not only is it entirely free, it’s also a brilliant and fun way to keep children engaged with and interested in reading over the summer holidays. This is extremely important, particularly with growing evidence suggesting that the summer holidays is a time when children might find themselves not reading as much as they should, if at all. Furthermore, by having to talk to a member of staff about their books it's a great way for children to develop their self-confidence.

So if you’re a parent or carer what are you waiting for? Take the children down to a library near you and get them registered for this year’s great Summer Reading Challenge!