The Summer Reading Challenge takes place every summer for ages 4-11 and it is a great way to keep your child reading over the school holidays. Children can earn rewards for the amount they read, and they can complete the challenge by reading just 6 books. My eldest took part in the challenge last summer when he had just finished Reception, he was reading fairly well but still a little slow. By the end of the summer he had read 10 books and I saw a huge improvement in his reading. I think it is really important at this stage to keep your child reading when they can as the long break before they return to school in September can lead to newly learnt reading skills slipping. Your child doesn’t need to be able to read well to take part, my daughter (4) will also be taking part this summer, she will be starting Reception in September and can read some very basic words. The great thing about the challenge is that it is run through libraries and you will find books for every level of reader.
To take part in the Summer Reading Challenge you need to sign up through your local library, you will need to be a library member to do this. You can then keep track of the books you read on the Summer Reading Challenge website (www.summerreadingchallenge.org.uk) as well as see book recommendations, play games and enter competitions. You can read any type of books you like, this is good news for younger children as they don’t need to stick to the reading scheme books they have to read at school for the first couple of years. There is a collection of 70 books compiled especially for the challenge but you do not have to stick to reading just these books, but they are well worth considering and there are some for all ages. Take a look at them here.
The Summer Reading Challenge has now started in most libraries all over the country, there is no official end date as this is set by the local authority, so check with your library when it is due to end. There is a different theme each year and for 2017 it is Animal Agents, illustrated by the children’s illustrator Tony Ross. The RNIB National Library Service has also made a selection of the Summer Reading Challenge book titles available in accessible formats (Braille, audio and giant print) for children with visual impairments. Many schools are also taking part, if your school is one of these you may be presented with your Summer Reading Challenge completion certificate in assembly during the first term back after the summer holidays.