Bill Wiggin MP is encouraging North Herefordshire children to read this summer.

Bill Wiggin MP for North Herefordshire supported a campaign run by The Reading Agency in Westminster on Tuesday 8 July to encourage all primary school children to take part in this year’s Summer Reading Challenge.

Bill Wiggin MP said: “I hope parents, grandparents and carers in North Herefordshire will take their children to the library to sign up for the Summer Reading Challenge.

My children took part in the Challenge last year and absolutely loved it, they discovered lots of new books and new authors.

Bill Wiggin summer reading 1

As a parent I would encourage others to involve their children, it’s free, inclusive and makes reading fun – a vital ingredient in building literacy.

Last year 1,521 children in Herefordshire took part in the Challenge.

This year I hope we can not only beat that number, but also show our communities what a valuable asset local libraries can be.”

The Summer Reading Challenge got a record 810,000 children reading in the summer holidays in 2013, and with the support of libraries, schools and well-known children’s authors including Jacqueline Wilson and Michael Morpurgo, even more children will be encouraged to join the library and complete the challenge this year.

Research shows the Summer Reading Challenge builds confidence and independent reading, while preventing the dip in children’s literacy levels during the long break from school.

Children will also be encouraged to share their love of reading by recommending a book to friends, family and carers with a campaign called ‘pass-it-on’ this year.

This year’s Challenge theme is ‘Mythical Maze’.

When children sign up at the library they will receive a mythical maze poster, then as they borrow and read library books over the summer, children collect stickers of mythical creatures to complete their poster and discover facts about the creatures as they go.

Children can even go on the website summerreadingchallenge.org.uk to create a profile, chat about books, and get help on what to read next, via the digital Book Sorter which already offers over 300,000 peer to peer children’s book recommendations in child-friendly categories.

For the first time the Challenge will also have its own free mobile App to download onto a device which will recognize key Mythical Maze illustrations and trigger audio visual content including videos, games and messages from the mythical creatures.

The Summer Reading Challenge reaches children and young people of all ages.

For pre-schoolers there is a mini-challenge and for young people (aged 13 to 24) there is the opportunity to volunteer and support younger children taking part.

Lord Graham Tope, CBE, Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Libraries said:

“Encouraging children to read is really important, as it not only builds literacy but confidence too.  With the long school holidays fast approaching, the Summer Reading Challenge is a fantastic way to get kids reading in a fun and engaging way. I know it is popular with parents and children alike.  This year’s theme, Mythical Maze, will no doubt push numbers even higher with its striking illustrations and fun mix of characters.”

Sue Wilkinson, CEO of The Reading Agency said:

“Education policy makers understand the importance of children reading for pleasure. The Summer Reading Challenge which is developed and delivered in partnership with librarians across the UK is designed to keep children reading in the long summer break. It is the UK’s biggest children’s reading for pleasure promotion. Last year over 810,000 children took part with almost 67,000 because new library members to do so. What we hope is that everyone who takes part this summer really will find out that everything changes when we read.”

Ciara Eastell, President of the Society of Chief Librarians, said:

“We know how much fun families and children get out of taking part in the Summer Reading Challenge and re-discovering what their local library has to offer for the whole family.”

Follow the Summer Reading Challenge on Facebook at www.facebook.com/SummerReadingChallengeUK

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