Usually, the Challenge takes place in libraries across the country. This year, with the disruption caused by COVID-19 and the impact of social distancing on schools and public libraries, the all-new digital Summer Reading Challenge is launching earlier than usual. This is to keep children reading over what has become a much longer summer period due to the pandemic, and support parents and carers with children at home.
The theme for the Challenge is “Silly Squad”- a celebration of funny books, happiness and laughter, featuring bespoke artwork from award-winning children’s author and illustrator, Laura Ellen Anderson.
The Reading Agency launched the Challenge this year on Friday 5 June with a whole host of virtual events with guest celebrities and authors to mark the launch of the digital Challenge. The website is free to access and a place for children to rate and review their books and work towards their reading goal. It will also feature video content, games, quizzes and digital and downloadable activities to incentivise and encourage children and their families to take part in the Challenge at home.
It’s free, local and inclusive
- The Summer Reading Challenge is inclusive of all primary school aged children and all stages of reading development
- It’s free to take part – families can sign up by visiting the Summer Reading Challenge website and can access e-books and audio books for free via their local library service until the libraries open fully.
- Children set a personal reading goal at the beginning of their Challenge and receive digital incentives along the way when they log their books on the website to encourage them. There’s a digital certificate for everyone who finishes the Challenge
- We understand that not all families will have access to digital, which is why we are working hard with our partners including public libraries and publishers to ensure our Summer Reading Challenge physical materials will get into the hands of children who need them most. We will provide further information on this as we learn more about the ease of lockdown and the opening of public spaces and distribution opportunities
We had 2 successful Book Start sessions for parents of F1 and F2 children this term. For those who were unable to attend, I have included a copy of the booklet received by parents to support your child’s learning at home. It includes the ages and stages of development expected for children at Foundation Stage in Communication and Language, Literacy and Health and Self-Care. In addition, I have included a copy of the document ‘4 Parents’, to refer to in line with Development Matters.