Thousands of children across Manchester will gain the rewards of reading this summer, as they join this year’s Summer Reading Challenge.
The much-loved annual activity, which aims to keep children reading through the long school holidays, is delivered by Manchester Libraries in association with The Reading Agency. Nearly 6,000 Manchester children took part last year.
This year’s theme is Animal Agents, with libraries presenting special collections of animal books and stories – but children can choose to read any six books they like over the summer holidays.
Children can sign up for the challenge at their local library and will receive a free Summer Reading Challenge pack.
The Challenge combines free access to books with fun, creative activities in the library during the summer. Manchester libraries will be holding around 200 free activities suitable for children aged four and over this summer, based on the Animal Agents theme.
Children collect stickers and goodies as they work their way through six library books, with medals and certificates awarded to those who complete the Challenge. All entrants are included in a prize draw, with prizes including a £100 toy store voucher, plus a ‘goody bag’ winner drawn from entrants at each local library.
Local primary schools will be taking part in a Summer Reading Challenge competition. The school with the highest proportion of children completing the Challenge will win prizes, including the chance for pupils to see "Around the World in Eighty Days" at the Lowry theatre.
This year, Manchester launched the Summer Reading Challenge with performance artist Sophia Hatfield (Just Soph) re-telling stories from the Just So books, in a fabulous interactive performance for local pupils.
Executive Member for Culture and Leisure, Councillor Luthfur Rahman, said: “The Summer Reading Challenge is always incredible popular, with Manchester’s libraries going the extra mile to ensure that as many children as possible enjoy the benefits of reading for pleasure.
“Thanks to this wonderful initiative, thousands of young readers will have fun visiting their local library, taking part in exciting activities and checking out some fantastic books during the long school holidays.”
For a full list of activities, go to www.manchester.gov.uk/summerreadingchallenge. Or visit the Summer Reading Challenge website to find lots of great ideas for things to do and books to read.