Children invited to join Animal Agents at Reading Libraries this summer

READING libraries are calling for children to sign up to read six books this summer as part of Animal Agents, the Summer Reading Challenge 2017, which kicks off on Saturday.

The popular 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 theme is Animal Agents – based on a detective agency staffed by animals. As children read at least six books, they will be able to collect stickers to help the animals crack important clues to solve their puzzle! Successful children will also be presented with a certificate and a medal.

The event has been running since 1999, and in Reading 1,762 children between the ages of four and 13 took part in last year’s Dahl-themed challenge – more than ever, and this year looks to be just as big with more than 20 teenage volunteers already signed up to help. This year’s challenge launches on Saturday 15 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 from 15 July at: www.reading.gov.uk/libraries.

Councillor Sarah Hacker, Lead Councillor for Culture, Sport and Consumer Services, said:

“This is a great way for youngsters to keep on reading during the summer holidays, while having fun with the jam packed programme of events. Last year we had a record participation, and I’m really hoping even more youngsters join in and make use of their local library again this summer.”

For more information on how to take part, please contact your local library.

ENDS

Notes to Editors

The Reading Agency runs the annual Summer Reading Challenge in partnership with the Society of Chief Librarians. This national reading for pleasure programme is now in its 19th year.  Last year over three quarters of a million children across the UK took part by borrowing, reading and talking about their favourite books: www.summerreadingchallenge.org.uk

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