Mark Menzies MP backs reading challenge

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FYLDE MP Mark Menzies is supporting a campaign run by charity The Reading Agency to encourage all primary school children to join their local library and take part in this year’s Summer Reading Challenge – the UK’s biggest reading promotion for primary school children.

Research shows the Summer Reading Challenge increases children’s reading range and their enjoyment of reading significantly. It builds confidence and independent reading, while combating the dip in children’s literacy levels during the long break from school.

A unique partnership between The Reading Agency and public libraries across the UK, the Summer Reading Challenge already gets three quarters of a million children to read six library books in the summer holidays. With the support of local MPs, libraries, schools and the Summer Reading Challenge Champions, even more children aged four to 11 will be encouraged to join the library and join in.

Mr Menzies said: “I hope parents and carers in Fylde will take their children to their local library this summer to sign up for The Reading Agency’s Summer Reading Challenge.  It’s free and makes reading fun – a vital ingredient in building literacy. Last year 13,906 children in Lancashire took part in the Challenge. I hope we can increase that figure this year and show local libraries what a valuable asset they are to us and our community.”

Each year the Challenge uses a new theme to inject fun and creativity into reading. The 2013 theme is “Creepy House”, illustrated by award winning Chris Riddell, inviting children to explore a Creepy House and its host of characters. They can take part in spine tingling reading activities and collect pungent smelling stickers to complete a collectable Creepy House poster.

Children can also visit the website www.summerreadingchallenge.org.uk to create a profile, chat about books and get help on what to read next via the digital Book Sorter, which also works on mobiles and tablets.

Miranda McKearney OBE, director of The Reading Agency, said: “Education policy makers now understand the importance of children reading for pleasure. The SRC is the UK’s biggest children’s reading promotion. It involves 750,000 children each year and accounts for 20 per cent of all children’s books borrowed.

The Summer Reading Challenge has a simple magic – it makes reading really, really fun, and is a crucial intervention from the people who know how to turn children on to reading – librarians. This year’s theme is Creepy House.  Children go to their library, get a lovely poster, experience lots of creative library events, are given collectable incentives along the way and a medal and certificate at the end.

Follow the Summer Reading Challenge on Facebook at www.facebook.com/SummerReadingChallengeUK

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