Parents who are concerned about the amount of school their children are missing are encouraged to join the ‘Summer Reading Challenge’.
The Summer Reading Challenge is an annual challenge that invites younger children to spend more time reading.
Lancashire County Council’s libraries service, working in partnership with the Reading Agency, is inviting all children aged from four to 11 to join the ‘Silly Squad’, and join the free challenge, which is all about funny books, happiness and things that make us laugh.
The ‘Silly Squad’ are an adventurous team of animals who love to have a laugh and get stuck into many different kinds of funny books. It features bespoke artwork from award-winning children’s author and illustrator Laura Ellen Anderson.
County Councillor Peter Buckley, Lancashire County Council’s cabinet member for community and cultural services, said: “In these unusual times it’s more important than ever that families find ways to have fun and laugh together.
“With school life having been disrupted, many children have missed the company of their friends. This means that this year’s Summer Reading Challenge is all the more important.
“It’s a way of helping parents and carers to take part in fun, family-friendly activities, maintain literacy levels and create a safe space for children to connect with their peers. There are so many funny children’s books available to cheer us up, and this is a great chance for families to read together over the summer and have some fun.”
Usually children visit their local library to register and collect a wallet, stickers and other rewards as they progress through the challenge, reading a total of six books.
However, as Lancashire’s libraries are currently closed because of Covid-19 restrictions, the 2020 Challenge will work in a different way. For the first time in Lancashire, it is going to be a digital-only activity to keep children reading and support parents and carers, especially if children are at home.
The challenge, which runs through the summer until the end of September will be free to access, featuring games, quizzes and downloadable activities to incentivise and encourage children and their families to take part in reading related activities at home.
Children can choose their own reading goals, create book reviews, play games and collect virtual rewards. To sign up, parents and guardians can register their children online at www.sillysquad.org.uk via the safe sign-up process.
The new online platform will help children to keep track of their books and reviews, as well as the rewards they unlock along the way.
Although children can’t borrow physical books from libraries at the moment, they can choose from thousands of e-books to download free from the library service using Borrowbox, and our new comic and magazine service RB Digital, by visiting the Your Library homepage at www.lancashire.gov.uk/libraries.
Children can use their own books, or any from school, to take part in the challenge.
The Summer Reading Challenge is produced nationally by The Reading Agency and is being delivered by libraries across the country through virtual services and e-lending platforms.
To find out about other activities and events that are currently available including the weekly themed Lego Club, regular Facebook Family Book Club and the book quizzes that are available on dozens of popular children’s books over the summer, visit www.lancashire.gov.uk/libraries