The Summer Reading Challenge launched on 5 June 2020 with a new website, where children aged 4 – 11 can take part in the Challenge and a “Let’s Get Silly” virtual launch event that the whole family can enjoy.
With the disruption caused by COVID-19 and the impact of social distancing on schools and public libraries, the all-new digital Summer Reading Challenge with its Silly Squad theme launched earlier than usual to keep children reading over the summer and support parents and carers with children already at home. This year it is running from June to September 2020. A whole host of virtual (super silly!) curated events with guest celebrities and authors took place on Friday 5 June to mark the launch of the new digital Challenge. You can catch up on the launch videos here. The website is free to access, featuring games, quizzes and digital and downloadable activities to incentivise and encourage children and their families to take part in the Challenge at home. Although library buildings are closed, libraries will also continue to deliver the Challenge through virtual services and e-lending platforms.
The Summer Reading Challenge encourages children aged 4-11 to read during the long summer holiday with research showing that children’s reading can ‘dip’ severely during the summer if they do not have regular access to books. With school life disrupted and many children missing the company of their friends, this year’s Summer Reading Challenge will be all the more vital as a way of helping parents and carers find fun, family-friendly activities, maintain literacy levels and create a safe space for children to connect with their peers.
This year’s theme also offers families a chance to have fun and just “GET SILLY!”, with children being encouraged to read anything that makes them happy – whether it be a comic, joke book, poetry, fiction or non-fiction, in digital or print format, from e-book lending through the public library service or from what they already have at home, with the Summer Reading Challenge official book collection as a guide.