Education Secretary Kirsty Williams joined children at Merthyr Tydfil Library today to launch this year’s Summer Reading Challenge.
Every year, thousands of families all over Wales are involved in the UK's biggest reading event for children in libraries, the Summer Reading Challenge, which aims to get children between the ages of 4 and 11 to read six books or more from their library during the summer holidays. In Wales the challenge has a distinct Welsh focus and includes Welsh medium books.
Taking part in the Summer Reading Challenge is free and is one example of what public libraries offer to help children develop a love of reading, gain confidence and learn new skills.
The theme of this year’s challenge is ‘Mischief Makers’ or ‘Dyfeiswyr Direidi’ and Dennis the Menace and his friends are encouraging children to get involved. By reading six library books over the summer holidays, children will get rewards and stickers to collect, with clues from Dennis to help readers complete the challenge and find the treasure chest of tricks.
Young people aged 12-24 can also take part through the Welsh Books Council’s ‘Reading Hack’ initiative which sees them volunteer in libraries to support the Summer Reading Challenge.
Kirsty Williams said:
“The Summer Reading Challenge has proved hugely successful in motivating children to read more over the summer holidays.
“Reading is such a rewarding pastime for children and is fundamental to their development. Not only does it improve literacy skills, but it boosts their knowledge and most importantly fuels their imagination. If, as often happens, this glorious sunshine turns to rain as soon as the holidays start, what better way to keep the kids occupied when they can’t get out and about!”
“Research has also shown that this helps keep their reading level up before going back to school in September. I would encourage parents to make the most of the time with their children this summer, dive into a book and who knows where you’ll end up!”
For more information on the Summer Reading Challenge including how to get involved, and resources for schools, go to: https://summerreadingchallenge.org.uk/