Calling all bookworms big and small, the Summer Reading Challenge is about to begin once more, and this time it’s all geared up to the throw you into the heady world of stories.
This Saturday 14 July, City of York Council is encouraging all children to sign up to the Summer Reading Challenge, an initiative which runs in 97% of UK libraries with 78,000 children aged 4-11 taking part. To launch the mass reading frenzy this year, the Summer Reading Challenge is invading Rowntree Park this Saturday 14 July on the park’s 91st birthday, filling the scenic York space with oodles of fictional fun for the family. Among the many activities and the Reading Café installed in the park, children’s poet Ian Bland will telling some of his cheeky and funny poems, encouraging children to begin penning odes themselves.
Following the success of last year’s Circus Stars and 2010’s Space Hop, this year’s Summer Reading Challenge theme will be Story Lab, celebrating storytelling and the imaginative journeys that books can take you on. By signing up onto this challenge, the children turn the opening pages on an adventure, starting in the Story Lab HQ. All the challenge requires is that the children read just six books of their choice over the course of their summer holidays in return for lots of free prizes, goodies and much sought after Summer Reading Challenge medal.
With a decidedly Olympic influence, lots of the books on the recommended reading lists will hopefully help children to establish a link between their fictional worlds and the once-in-a-lifetime event happening in our country this summer which is bound to create thousands of true stories for the years to come.
Also coinciding with the launch of York’s first ever Children’s Book Awards, which allows children under 14 to vote for their favourite book of all time, children are encouraged to fulfil their Summer Reading Challenge by picking up some of these nominated books.
Cllr Sonja Crisp, Cabinet Member for Leisure, Culture and Tourism, said of the Reading Challenge: “The Summer Reading Challenge is a great way to get children reading outside of school, for fun as well as learning.
She added: “Over the summer it’s easy for children to have a long break from reading, which could hinder their learning process. This challenge helps prevent that whilst also helping them discover the joys of reading.”
It’s not just about reading too as there will be lots of opportunities for children to get creative themselves with story starter packs available for all Reading Challenge participants. A special Storysaurus event with a York 800 twist will also take place at Explore York on 2 and 3 August 2-4pm with help on hand from professional storytellers Richard Kay and Mary Passeri.
To sign up to the Summer Reading Challenge 2012, which officially begins this Saturday, head to your local libraries and Explore Centres or come to Rowntree Park launch.