Teresa is supporting a campaign run by charity The Reading Agency to encourage all primary school children to take part in the annual Summer Reading Challenge – the UK’s largest reading for pleasure promotion.
This year’s Summer Reading Challenge is delivered in collaboration with The Roald Dahl Literary Estate to celebrate 100 years of the world’s favourite storyteller. ‘The Big Friendly Read’ will feature some of Roald Dahl’s best-loved characters and the amazing artwork of his principal illustrator and local artist Sir Quentin Blake.
To take part, all children need to do is sign up at their nearest library. They’ll receive a special collector’s folder and as they borrow and read at least six library books over the summer, they can collect six special cards to complete it. The cards all feature original Quentin Blake illustrations and explore some of most popular themes in Roald Dahl’s books such as invention, mischief and friendship.
Speaking after the Big Friendly Read event in Parliament this week, Teresa Pearce MP said:
“I hope parents, grandparents and carers in Erith and Thamesmead will take their children to the library over the summer to sign up for the Summer Reading Challenge. It’s free, inclusive and, most importantly, makes reading fun.
Last year 4,395 children in the borough of Bexley and a further 2,693 children in the borough of Greenwich took part. I hope we can increase that number this year and remind local libraries what a valuable asset they are to us and our community.”
Research shows that reading for pleasure is a more powerful factor in life achievement than socio-economic background, and that children who use libraries are twice as likely to be above average readers. The Challenge builds confidence and independent reading, while preventing the dip in children’s reading levels during the long break from school.
The Summer Reading Challenge is a unique partnership between The Reading Agency and public libraries across the UK which last year got over 780,000 children borrowing, reading and talking about their favourite books.
Children can use the special website bigfriendlyread.org.uk to create a profile, chat about books, and get help on what to read next, via the digital Book Sorter which already offers over 500,000 peer to peer children’s book recommendations in child-friendly categories.
Families, libraries and schools can also download a free mobile app which will use the original Quentin Blake illustrations to trigger audio clips, including rare recordings of Roald Dahl sharing his writing tips and reading aloud, and unlock game content.
For more information on the Summer Reading Challenge go to their website www.readingagency.org.uk/summerreadingchallenge