Youngsters required to sign up for the Silly Squad
- Credit: The Reading Agency
Libraries across East Devon are calling for children to sign up to this year’s Summer Reading Challenge and read six books before the school holiday is up in September.
Usually launched to coincide with the beginning of the school summer holiday, this year the start date was brought forward to Saturday July 4 to give youngsters, aged four to 11, extra time to read their six books.
Children are likely to be especially happy with this year’s theme - ‘Silly Squad’ - as it’s a celebration of funny books, happiness and laughter, involving an adventurous team of fun-loving animals.
With the disruption caused by Covid-19 and the impact of social distancing on libraries, the 2020 challenge will look slightly different from normal this year. Instead of the stickers and incentives given out in libraries, a new digital format has been designed to keep children engaged and interested in reading.
Although the Devon Libraries are currently on a phased return to physical buildings, the libraries will continue to deliver the challenge through virtual services and the digital lending catalogue.
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Alex Kittow, chief executive of Libraries Unlimited, the charity that runs all 54 libraries, said: “The Summer Reading Challenge is a vital project that we run each year. Last year, 14,000 children took part in the challenge, our highest number ever. Due to the pandemic, this year has been challenging for families so we want to ensure our offer reaches as many children as possible. Our libraries have provided support for our communities during lockdown and we do hope we can extend this support over the summer for families. This is a free challenge, open to all, so do make sure your children sign up.”
On completion of the challenge, children will be able to download a certificate from the website and once the libraries have re-opened, they’ll be able to pick up a special Silly Squad medal too. The challenge finishes on Saturday, September 5.
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Throughout the summer, a series of fun events have been scheduled for the kids including weekly online Bounce and Rhyme, weekly digital craft sessions and a Library Llama Live online event with Sidmouth Library.