There has been an overall concern recently about children’s literacy and the declining numbers of children owning books at home as well as enjoying reading for pleasure. For once I’m going to save my own thoughts and the politics of this for another day, but suffice to say I think many of us can do our bit to help boost children’s’ reading, particularly over the Summer months.
“Well, how can we do that?”
The Summer Reading Challenge, organised by The Reading Agency and libraries, is a great scheme that operates every year for kids roughly aged between 4 & 11. Some kids will be lucky enough to have a librarian sign them up at school, others you just need to pop along to your local library (information & opening times will be available on your local authority website) where you can quickly sign up for the challenge (if you/the children aren’t already county library members you can take a form of ID with your name and address on, such as a driver’s licence, recent bank statement or utility bill, and you will be welcomed with open arms for FREE!)
“I’ve heard about the Summer Reading Challenge but I don’t know what it is?”
In a nutshell this scheme launches in England today, Saturday 14th July (Scotland and Wales have already launched their challenges at the end of their summer terms, check your local authority webpage for information) and encourages schoolchildren to read 6 books, these can be ANY book: fiction, non-fiction, graphic novels, audio books, ebooks, picture books, phonics books; whatever they fancy picking of the shelves and sitting down to read, THAT COUNTS. If they can read the 6 books before the end of the summer (dates set for this are individual to each authority/library and so worth checking) they get a medal and certificate, have had fun, explored new worlds AND maintained their literacy levels over the summer, yaaas!
There is always a different theme and this year it is Mischief Makers, celebrating the 80th anniversary of The Beano comic; Dennis & friends are still causing mischief and looking good for octogenarians!
The Reading Agency have compiled a handy guide of 70 books they recommend for various ages and abilities on their site here many are brand new titles and there is huge variety, look…
I also have a recommendations page of the books my kids have enjoyed in this age range which you can check out here.
” I am not a parent so I don’t think I can make a difference? “
Parents, Guardians, Aunties, Uncles, Older siblings, Cousins, Grandparents, Godparents, Playscheme workers, Carers, responsible babysitters, you can all get involved in encouraging your favourite kids to firstly, get reading and secondly, get signed up at their library for the challenge. Even the most reluctant readers might enjoy something a bit different, or the Beano theme, or just the chance to choose a book that interests THEM to read, for FREE, for FUN (no identifying fronted adverbials or the correct usage of a semicolon).
You can get all the information you may need, plus ideas for books, author interviews, competitions, games & messages on the official website at https://summerreadingchallenge.org.uk/
Enjoy your Summer, hopefully with a book, making some mischief!