Summer Reading Challenge launched with appeal for volunteers

Written by MiriamSpall on Thursday, April 27, 2017 - 10:17

Suffolk Libraries is launching this year’s Summer Reading Challenge and appealing for volunteers to help inspire thousands of children to get reading this summer.

The Summer Reading Challenge takes place every year during the summer holidays and helps to get three quarters of a million children into libraries across the country. The number of children taking part in Suffolk has been increasing every year since 2013.

It’s a fun way of encouraging children to keep reading during the holidays and is produced by the Reading Agency and delivered by libraries. The theme for 2017 is ‘Animal Agents’ and a whole host of clever creatures has been created, ready to solve all kinds of crimes. The animal characters have been brought to life by Tony Ross, illustrator of the Horrid Henry series.

The idea is for young children to read six library books of their choice and collect special stickers and other incentives along the way. A key part of the campaign is encouraging children to visit the library and speak to someone about the books they’ve read. The role of volunteers is vital to the success of the Summer Reading Challenge and it’s a chance to really make a difference to children’s reading and literacy skills. You just need to be able to come to the library for an hour or two every week during the holidays. Anyone interested can contact their local library or register online via

Krystal Vittles, Suffolk Libraries Development Manager and Children’s Lead, said: “The Summer Reading Challenge is a very important campaign for us. Children's reading can dip during the long summer holidays if they don’t have regular access to books and encouragement to read for pleasure and every year it seems to get more popular in Suffolk’s Libraries. Although it doesn’t start until July, the role of volunteers is vital so we’re always keen to get people on board as early as we can. It’s a great opportunity to get some experience working with children, it’s very rewarding and is something people of all ages can get involved with.”

The Summer Reading Challenge will be running in all the county’s libraries and this year children coming to the new Suffolk Libraries Local sessions in Shotley, Red Lodge and Moreton Hall (which is due to launch in May) can take part too.

In 2016, 8,260 children signed up to take part in the Summer Reading Challenge in Suffolk supported by hundreds of volunteers. There is no other free reading activity that involves so many children, introduces families to their library, encourages children to choose books freely and independently and is endorsed by parents, teachers and the Department for Education. For more information visit

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