3-2-1- Blast Off! Children Invited to Join Out of this World ‘Space Chase’ at Reading Libraries

Space Chase
Space Chase

READING libraries are calling for children to sign up to read six books this summer as part of a space themed Summer Reading Challenge 2019, which blasts off on Saturday 13th July.

The free reading challenge aims to get more children reading over the summer period – a time when children’s literacy skills traditionally dip. Children are challenged to borrow and read at least six books over the holidays, and are rewarded for each book read.

This year’s Space Chase theme is an out-of-this-world adventure inspired by the 50th anniversary of the first moon landing. This summer children will help the super space family track down books nabbed by mischievous aliens! As they read library books, they will solve clues and collect special stickers to complete their mission folder. Can they find the aliens in time to save the day?

Successful children will also be presented with a special certificate and a medal.

Councillor Karen Rowland, Lead Councillor for Culture, Heritage and Recreation, said: “We know children’s reading can ‘dip’ during the long summer holidays if they don’t have regular access to books and encouragement to read for pleasure – and this can be a problem for schools to put right in the new term. This is a great, free way for youngsters to keep on reading, while having fun with Reading Library Service’s jam packed programme of events. I remember fondly summer reading programmes from when I was a child and they instilled in me a love of reading that I still have to this day.

“Last year’s extremely popular summer reading challenge saw over 1,700 children between the ages of 4 – 13 taking part. I’m really excited by this year’s space theme to mark the 50th anniversary of the moon landings and I’m eager to see as many youngsters as possible join in with this year’s space challenge and make use of their local library this summer.”

This year marks the 20th anniversary of the Summer Reading Challenge. The event has been running since 1999.  In Reading 1,717 children between the ages of four and 13 took part in last year’s Mischief Makers Beano themed challenge. This year’s challenge launches on Saturday 13th July, with a whole programme of events and activities planned in libraries across Reading, for families over the summer period. A full timetable of activities will be available at: www.reading.gov.uk/libraries

Space Chase - Summer Reading Challenge
Space Chase – Summer Reading Challenge

For more information on how to take part, please contact your local library. Please note that Battle Library in west Reading is temporarily closed for transformation work, reopening in September 2019 with a new flexible community space.  To take part in the challenge please head to Central library or one of the other libraries in Reading: www.reading.gov.uk/librarybranches

Find out more about Battle’s transformation at www.reading.gov.uk/battlelibraryworks

Volunteers needed:

The library is also looking to recruit volunteers aged 14-18 who they will provide with training, guidance and support. The teenage volunteers would work across all local library branches, encouraging children with their reading and helping to run events and craft activities. Find out more at www.reading.gov.uk/libraryvolunteering


Notes to Editors

The Reading Agency runs the annual Summer Reading Challenge in partnership with Libraries Connected. This national reading for pleasure programme is now in its 20th year. Children can find new books to read, win some great book prizes and share recommendations with other readers on: www.summerreadingchallenge.org.uk

The Summer Reading Challenge reaches children and young people of all ages.  For the pre-schoolers there is a mini-challenge while young people (aged 13 to 24) can volunteer and support younger children taking part, as part of The Reading Agency’s Reading Hack programme.  Volunteering provides a quality workplace experience for young people in libraries inspires them to think about their future career and increases their employability as they gain useful life skills and confidence.  Last year over 7,500 young people across the UK volunteered: readinghack.org.uk

Follow the library service on social media @ReadingLibrary and Facebook @ReadingLibraries for the latest updates.

Victoria Nickless

For media enquiries about this release email victoria.nickless@reading.gov.uk or call 0118 937 3957