13 July 2018

The Summer Reading Challenge encourages children to read six library books during the long summer holiday.

Children up to the age of 11 can take part and there’s a special ‘mini challenge’ for babies, toddlers and pre-schoolers.

 Launching on Saturday 14 July, this year’s Summer Reading Challenge is Mischief Makers; celebrating the 80th anniversary of the much-loved comic, Beano.

The Summer Reading Challenge, a unique partnership between The Reading Agency and public libraries across the UK got over three quarters of a million children borrowing, reading and talking about their favourite books last year.

Last year 4,108 children took on the challenge in Sheffield.

To take part in the Mischief Makers Summer Reading Challenge, all children need to do is to head to their local library where they will be given a colourful collector’s map of Beanotown to keep a record of their reading journey.

As each child reads at least six library books over the summer, they will collect stickers which will help them crack the clues and help Dennis, Gnasher and friends find the buried treasure!

Children’s reading can ‘dip’ during the summer holidays if they don’t have regular access to books and encouragement to read for pleasure. Because everything changes when we read.

 Children can use the mischief-makers.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 600,000 peer to peer children’s book recommendations in child-friendly categories.

The Summer Reading Challenge reaches children and young people of all ages. Young people (aged 13 to 24) can volunteer and support younger children taking part, as part of The Reading Agency’s Reading Hack programme.

Volunteers have already been recruited in Sheffield and are ready and waiting to start helping staff run the project, talk to children about books they’ve been reading and help children choose new books to read. They will also be helping with craft sessions and help create displays in libraries.

 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.

Research shows that reading for pleasure is a more powerful factor in life achievement than socio-economic background and that children who use libraries are twice as likely to be above average readers. The Summer Reading Challenge builds confidence and independent reading, while helping to prevent the dip in children’s reading levels during the long summer break from school.

Councillor Mary Lea, Cabinet Member for Culture, Parks and Leisure said: “We hope that lots of children get involved in the Mischief Makers Summer Reading Challenge and that they get their whole family involved in having fun reading. It’s easy to join the challenge, it’s for all ages and is completely free. We look forward to seeing lots of activity in our libraries over the summer.”

Also during the summer, a free and exciting series of events will take place in Council-run libraries citywide ranging from board gaming to drama workshops.  Discover more at www.sheffield.gov.uk/libraries