Andrew Gwynne, MP for Denton and Reddish, is raising awareness for the Summer Reading Challenge which launches in Libraries across England and Wales on Saturday the 10th of July.
The Summer Reading Challenge is held annually by The Reading Agency and aims to encourage primary school children to discover the joys of reading. Each year, the challenge reaches over 700,00 children across the UK. The Reading Agency are aiming to increase its impact even further this year by reaching 1 million children with its new digital platform providing accessible, fun reading activities for all children.
This year, the Challenge is teaming up with the WWF and focussing on action for nature and tackling real-world environmental issues, from plastic pollution and deforestation to wildlife decline and nature loss. Through taking part in the Challenge, with free packs from public libraries or online, children will be able to join six fictional characters – ‘wild heroes’ – to help solve some of these threats, learning about the importance of the environment while helping to restore nature levels in the neighbourhood of ‘Wilderville’.
Over the summer term, WWF will be offering opportunities and resources for UK public libraries and primary schools to engage with the nature theme in the Summer Reading Challenge and to explore some of the most important issues of our time through the power of reading. WWF will also be running school seminars and live lessons.
A ‘Welcome to Wilderville: Meet the Heroes’ digital campaign will run over summer with a different weekly habitat theme, led by the Wild World Heroes, including Woodland, River, Farm, Town, Home/School and the Beach. The characters and landscape are illustrated by award-winning children’s author and illustrator Heath McKenzie.
A range of partners are also supporting the Challenge this year. Sky VIP are teaming up with The Reading Agency to offer thousands of VIP customers the chance to win a copy of Shark Seas by Sky presenter and Summer Reading Challenge Ambassador Steve Backshall. Customers will be invited to start their Summer Reading Challenge journey with Steve’s book at participating libraries nationwide – and can head to the My Sky app to find out more. The Challenge is also being supported by Pearson (sponsoring the digital platform’s School Zone) and Overdrive Education (sponsoring the digital platform’s Home Zone).
Karen Napier, CEO of The Reading Agency, said:
“We hope that this year, more children than ever will feel inspired and encouraged to sign up to the Challenge. After a difficult year for many, we are immensely grateful for the continued and longstanding support of public libraries, and we’re looking forward to working closely with them to help get children reading, alongside our brilliant partners and sponsors.”
Andrew Gwynne said:
“I’m so pleased to be backing this incredible campaign to get children inspired and discovering the magic of books.
Reading is so important, so I’d encourage any kids who fancy becoming Wild World Heroes to get involved with this brilliant challenge.
I’d like to thank The Reading Agency for setting this challenge up, and the WWF for coming up with such a fantastic concept to help children learn about the environment and how to care for it.”