Hampshire’s children are in for an exciting summer of reading and fun activities as Hampshire County Council’s Library Service launches its hugely popular annual Summer Reading Challenge on Saturday 13 July.

With the theme ‘Marvellous Makers’, public libraries in Hampshire will be encouraging children to express their creativity through the books they choose to read and the activities they take part in.

Hampshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Education, Councillor Steve Forster, said: “The Summer Reading Challenge is a fantastic opportunity for children to keep their reading skills fresh over the school holidays while enjoying the books they love – last year we saw more than 19,000 children join in across the county.”

“As well as reading, this year, children are being encouraged to be creative and express themselves – in whatever way suits them. That could be anything from telling a story, making up a dance, or taking photos to playing an instrument, practicing a sport or enjoying crafts. There are no limits to the ways a child can become a ‘Marvellous Maker’ – it’s not about being the best at something, it’s about expressing individuality and having fun!”

The Summer Reading Challenge is a national initiative aimed at children aged 4 to 11 years old that takes place each year in libraries across the UK. In Hampshire the challenge runs from Saturday 13 July to Saturday 7 September.

Children’s reading skills can dip over the summer holidays; by joining the challenge and sharing books helps ensure they are better prepared for the return to school. Visiting the library during the holidays gives children access to a wide range of books, other resources and activities, and a chance to discuss the books they have read as part of the Summer Reading Challenge. Membership of the library is free for anyone who lives, works or studies in Hampshire.

Once they have signed up for the Challenge and started reading, children can collect stickers to add to their Summer Reading Challenge collector card. All children who read six books and complete the challenge will be entered into a prize draw to win an iPad tablet and those who complete the challenge will also receive a certificate and a sustainable wooden medal.

More information about the Summer Reading Challenge and how to sign-up is available at library branches and on the Hampshire Libraries website

Photo by Anastasia Shuraeva: https://www.pexels.com/photo/children-reading-books-8466915/