Mike Weir, MP for Angus, is backing a campaign encouraging children to take part in a summer reading challenge.
Children are being invited to take part in Tesco Bank Summer Reading Challenge Scotland, and the campaign urging children to sign up is being run by Scottish libraries and The Reading Agency.
Research shows that reading for pleasure is a more powerful factor in life achievement than socio-economic background, and that children who use libraries are twice as likely to be above average readers. The Challenge builds confidence and independent reading, while preventing the dip in children’s reading levels during the long break from school.
In Scotland, the programme is supported by Tesco Bank who provide libraries with additional resource for events and packs for the 40,000 children that participate each summer. The Summer Reading Challenge across the UK is a unique partnership between The Reading Agency and public libraries and last year got over 780,000 children borrowing, reading and talking about their favourite books.
Mr Weir said: “I developed a love of books in the local library, and that has stayed with me. I hope parents, grandparents and carers in Angus will take their children to the library over the summer to sign up for the Tesco Bank Summer Reading Challenge Scotland. It’s free, inclusive and makes reading fun - a vital ingredient in building literacy.”
This year’s challenge is delivered in collaboration with The Roald Dahl Literary Estate to celebrate 100 years of the world’s favourite storyteller. The Big Friendly Read will feature some of Roald Dahl’s best-loved characters and the amazing artwork of his principal illustrator, Sir Quentin Blake, encouraging reading on a giant scale.
To take part in the Challenge, all children need to do is sign up at their nearest library.
Sue Wilkinson, CEO of The Reading Agency added: “The Summer Reading Challenge is developed and delivered in partnership with librarians across the country. At The Reading Agency, we believe that everything changes when we read and we know from our research how much fun families and children have when taking part in the Challenge. This year we hope Roald Dahl’s fantastic characters, and Sir Quentin Blake's brilliant artwork, will inspire more children than ever to take part and make use of their local library throughout the summer and beyond.”
Adele Mills, Tesco Bank Senior Community Investment Manager commented: “Reading for pleasure is one of the most popular ways to spend the holidays so we’re delighted that 40,000 children from across the country will get involved in the Tesco Bank Summer Reading Challenge Scotland through their local library ahead of their return to school and another year of learning. That’s a lot of children reading for pleasure, which can only be a good thing for them, their parents and their future.”
For more information on the Summer Reading Challenge including how to get involved and resources for schools, go to www.readingagency.org.uk/summerreadingchallenge.