Local MP Andrew Gwynne is supporting a campaign run by charity The Reading Agency to encourage all primary school children to take part in this year’s Summer Reading Challenge – the UK’s largest reading for pleasure promotion – and help libraries set a Guinness World Records title at the same time.
Research shows that reading for pleasure is vital for children’s life chances, and that children who use libraries are twice as likely to be above average readers. It builds confidence and independent reading, while preventing the dip in children’s literacy levels during the long break from school.
The Summer Reading Challenge is a unique partnership between The Reading Agency and public libraries across the UK and got 810,000 children reading in the summer holidays in 2014.
Every year there is a new theme and this year the Summer Reading Challenge has teamed up with Guinness World Records – the global authority in record-breaking achievements and publisher of the annual Guinness World Records book – to create Record Breakers. Children sign up at the library and receive a special poster. As they borrow and read library books over the summer, children collect stickers to complete their poster and discover fascinating facts about record breakers as they go.
The Reading Agency is calling on people of all ages, across the country to pledge to use their local library over the summer and help libraries set a Guinness World Records title. Libraries across the country are collecting pledges between Friday 10 and Monday 13 July – a list of pledging venues can be found at: www.recordbreakers.org.uk/record
Andrew Gwynne MP said:
“I hope parents, grandparents and carers in Denton and Reddish will take their children to the library over the summer to pledge their support for children’s reading and sign up for the Summer Reading Challenge. It’s free, inclusive and makes reading fun – a vital ingredient in building literacy.
“Last year 6208 children in Tameside and Stockport took part in the Challenge. I hope we can increase that number this year, show local libraries what a valuable asset they are to us and our community and help set a world record at the same time.”
Children can use the special website recordbreakers.org.uk to create a profile, chat about books, and get help on what to read next, via the digital Book Sorter which already offers over 450,000 peer to peer children’s book recommendations in child-friendly categories.
There’s also a free downloadable app which recognises key Record Breakers illustrations and triggers video clips and games.
The Summer Reading Challenge reaches children and young people of all ages. For pre-schoolers there is a mini-challenge and for young people (aged 13 to 24) there is the opportunity to volunteer and support younger children taking part. Volunteering provides a quality workplace experience for young people in libraries, inspires them to think about future careers and increases their employability as they gain useful life skills and confidence. Last year over 8,000 young people volunteered. Young volunteers will be helping with the Challenge, supported and funded by the Cabinet Office, as part of Reading Hack, the new young people’s programme from The Reading Agency which is currently in its pilot year and kindly funded by the Paul Hamlyn Foundation.
Sue Wilkinson, CEO of The Reading Agency said:
“At The Reading Agency we believe that everything changes when we read. The Summer Reading Challenge, developed and delivered in partnership with librarians across the UK, is a fantastic programme which makes reading fun and improves children’s reading range, motivation and confidence. Taking part can be the highlight of the summer for many families and helps them rediscover their local library, a free, inclusive space full of activities and opportunities.
“This year, the Record Breakers-themed Challenge is all about achieving your personal best, so we want as many people as possible to join us and pledge to use their local library this summer.”
Ciara Eastell, President of the Society of Chief Librarians, said:
“Public libraries foster a love of reading from infancy through adulthood. The Summer Reading Challenge is the highlight of the summer for many library staff and customers because it celebrates everything they love about reading and engages children, both existing and new library customers, in a unique and memorable way.”