Organised by The Reading Agency and the UK public library network since 1999, the Summer Reading Challenge is the UK’s biggest annual reading promotion for children aged 4 to 11. Last year, in Manchester, nearly 6,000 children took part.
The Summer Reading Challenge combines FREE access to books with fun, creative activities in the library during the summer holidays. Throughout the Challenge, library staff and young volunteers support the children, helping them to discover new authors and illustrators and to explore a wide range of different types of books and ways of reading.
The Challenge is a key element of the Read Manchester campaign, and an opportunity for Manchester schools to encourage reading for pleasure and develop links with their local library.
How the Challenge works
- Children sign up at their local library and receive an Animal Agents collector folder
- Children borrow and read at least six library books of their own choice during the summer, collecting special stickers to complete their folder and incentives along the way
- Library staff and young volunteers are on hand to advise and run family-friendly activities
- Children who complete the Summer Reading Challenge are presented with a certificate and a medal
- The Summer Reading Challenge is intrinsically inclusive and can contribute to the achievement of ALL your pupils including those with special educational needs, disadvantaged pupils and the most able
- It enhances and supports your school’s reading policy and your mission for all children to read more widely and for pleasure
- It encourages parental engagement and family involvement in reading and helps your school make links with the library and the wider community
- It allows children to become more independent in their reading when choosing books and encourages using imagination and empathy to explore a text beyond the page
- It takes place at your local library and is a brilliant opportunity for extra-curricular activity
- It helps prevent the tendency for children’s reading to dip over the holidays and supports the successful transition between year groups and stages
- A range of free resources including fun, creative ideas and activities to inspire children and families to take part in the Summer Reading Challenge can be downloaded here, including the Summer Reading Challenge Schools Pack.
Your school could win a day with award winning picture book author and illustrator, Lynne Chapman. We are running a competition for schools, offering some great prizes, including two author-in-your-school days, a class trip to the theatre and books for your school library. Encourage your children to join the Challenge, and when they read all 6 books they will be entered into the prize draw.
The winning schools will be those with the highest number of children (proportionate to pupil roll) who complete the Challenge.
Encouraging reading as a family
Manchester Reading Ahead is a reading challenge for anyone aged 12+. This is the perfect partner to the Summer Reading Challenge, giving parents and children the opportunity to be reading and introduces a competitive element that can often be a motivator. Manchester Reading Ahead invites adults to pick six things to read and then record, rate and review them in a reading diary. Adults can pick up diaries from their local library, or if you wish to target some of your families in school, please contact Michael Gallon for resources.