For the past 4 years our boys have undertaken the Library’s Summer Reading Challenge.
This year our youngest, just turned 4, is finally old enough to join in the fun!
Our boys love the reading challenge and quite frankly it’s genius: what’s not to love? The kids have to read 6 books over the summer months and then report back to the library about each book. In return they receive stickers, colouring sheets, leaflets and most importantly a medal on completion. We get to visit the library – always great for a raining day activity, they choose books, colour pictures, take part in treasure hunts and quite often see their friends too. We take books home, they read (homework, without realising it) and everyone is happy.
This year’s reading challenge theme is Mythical Maze. Previous themes have included Circus, Story Lab and last year was Creepy House. These themes really seem to capture the children’s imagination and inspire them to complete the challenge.
They registered when the challenge started in mid July and so far the boys have read two books each. Obviously the youngest can’t actually read yet, but I have read him books and he can still recount stories and talk about his favourite pictures and whether he liked the books or not. The eldest is unquestionably proficient at reading and is able to verbalize adeptly to the young volunteer fully about the books he’s read.
They were given scratch and sniff stickers for their efforts and chose more books to take home (they can take up to 30 each, however, I think I would struggle to carry 90 books!)
Waterlooville library has the enviable position where the children’s department has it’s own floor so children are not troubling adult quiet readers. For the reading challenge this year, a marquee has been set up in the large open area and decorated an appropriately mythical maze-type manner. Children have to wait outside the tent and then are ushered in to talk to a volunteer about their books.
Previous years’ question and answer sessions have been with Librarians at desks, but obviously puts pressure on them interviewing hundreds of children whilst going about their normal library duties. This year, school age volunteers have been drafted into ease the burden; the girl that ‘interviewed’ the boys was polite, friendly and quizzed the boys relevantly to their age.
If you have a child between the ages of 4 and 11, then the Summer Reading Challenge is a must. It’s running at all Hampshire libraries from Saturday 12 July to Saturday 13 September.