Children and Libraries

Summer Reading Challenge

Children with books for Summer Reading Challenge

Animal Agents: the Summer Reading Challenge 2017

Animal Agents, this year's Summer Reading Challenge, has come to an end after a very busy and successful summer of reading. Final figures are still coming in, but initial indications are that over 200 more children took part than last year - an increase of almost 9%. An amazing 840 took part in just Ryde Library alone! Entries for the review and picture competition have all been handed in, and the judging is about to begin, ready for an exciting prizegiving on Saturday 7 October. Everyone at Isle of Wight Libraries was delighted to see the libraries so busy over the summer, and to see so many children enjoying reading so enthusiastically.

About the Summer Reading Challenge

The Summer Reading Challenge is an annual challenge that aims to keep children enthusiastically reading during the summer holidays. Children are challenged to read books during the holidays, and receive stickers and prizes along the way, culminating in a medal and a certificate when they have read six books. Any book counts - fiction or non-fiction, easy or hard, new author or old favourite - as long as they're borrowed from the library.

The challenge is designed for children aged between 4 and 11 years, but older and younger children can take part, if they wish. However, please be warned that some of the prizes are not suitable for under threes, due to small parts. The challenge is free to join.

The Benefits of the Summer Reading Challenge

Children often return to school in September with their reading and learning levels lower than they were in July. Research has shown that children who take part in the Summer Reading Challenge are far less likely to suffer from this "summer dip."

A key principle of the Summer Reading Challenge is that children are free to choose their own books, rather than being pressurised to read books that are not to their taste. Parents often report that this makes a huge difference to their child's enthusiasm for reading - and enthusiastic readers are good readers.

"My son has always seen reading as a chore," one parent commented, "but thanks to this challenge, he's finally started to enjoy books, and his reading has come on in leaps and bounds." (Isle of Wight parent, August 2016)

Getting Involved

We are on the look out for volunteers aged 14 to 25 to become Summer Reading Challenge Champions during the summer holidays. Summer Reading Challenge Champions will help promote the challenge to children, and will chat to children about their reading, hand out rewards and assist with children's displays and events. There will be another challenge next summer, so even though 2017's challenge has finished, volunteers can still register their interest for next year.

Application Process - Volunteers

  • To apply to volunteer download an application form, please click here (PDF, 592KB, 2 pages).
  • Complete the form and hand the form into any library.
  • For further information contact us by email. Click here to email.