MP celebrates summer childrens reading programme
21st July 2008
Libraries in Birmingham are promoting this years Summer
Reading Challenge, which aims to keep 650,000 young people across the UK active and
reading throughout the summer holidays. The Summer Reading Challenge is 10 years old
this year. It is created and run by The Reading Agency, the independent charity
working to get people reading more, in partnership with the UK library network and
supported by childrens book publishers.
Lynne Jones MP was one of a number of MPs, as well as Michael
Rosen, Childrens Laureate, who attended the launch of this years Challenge
which, appropriately for Olympic year, has a sporting theme and is called Team Read.
She is pictured here being presented with a set of books, donated by
childrens publishers, which has now been donated to Kings Heath Library, where there
will be a programme of activities this summer culminating in an awards presentation for
successful readers on 20 September.
Summer Reading Challenge to children is simple read six books through your local
library this summer. Children are given a special pack and a set of incentives to
collect as they read, with a certificate or medal for those that successfully complete the
Jones said today: The challenge should help keep children in my constituency active
and interested throughout the long summer holidays. Reading has always given me
great pleasure and I am sure Team Read will help nurture a love of reading in my young
constituents, which they will take with them into adult life.
I am delighted that already more than thirty children have
signed up to the challenge at Kings Heath library and been issued with their moving
image membership card. Library staff will be on hand to help advise Team
Readers who will be able to work their way through bronze and silver stages to go for
gold. I look forward to presenting them with their medals on 20 September but
there is still plenty of time for more children to join at their local library!
Research shows how central reading for pleasure is for
childrens life chances, and the Summer Reading Challenge is shown to improve
childrens reading range, confidence and enjoyment. Schools say that this contributes
to their overall confidence and reading achievement, with potentially life-changing
For further information please contact
0207 219 4190
0208 889 1292
Notes to editors
Founded in 2002, The Reading Agency is an independent
charity and reading development agency. For more general information, please visit: www.readingagency.org.uk
Research shows that when public library and school staff
work together, childrens reading enjoyment and skills can improve dramatically.
Recent national initiatives and government policies have focused on different sectors
working together to achieve shared objectives, and Every Child Matters in particular
creates a crucial new partnership framework. Libraries have a unique role in this process,
because they can link formal and informal learning experiences.
Importance of reading for pleasure for childrens life
chances: Reading For Change, OECD, 2002. This showed that students who were more
enthusiastic about and engaged in reading performed better in tests, and that being a
frequent reader was more of an advantage, on its own, than wealth or social status.
Summer Reading Challenge research: Inspiring Children: The
Impact of the Summer Reading Challenge, 2003, and Summer Reading Challenge 2006: Impact
Research (both available to download from www.readingagency.org.uk)
show how libraries can inspire childrens love of reading, widen their reading
horizons and build their creativity.
The 2008 National Year of Reading is a year-long celebration of
reading in all its forms. It aims to build a greater national passion for reading
for children, families and adult learners alike. The Year will encourage people to read in
businesses, homes and communities around the country, providing new opportunities to read
and helping people to access help and support through schools and libraries. To get
involved and sign up to Year of Reading activities in your area, log on to: www.yearofreading.org.uk
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