Mischief in Wanstead!

©Dale Cherry/The Reading Agency With thanks to Idea Store Watney Market©Dale Cherry/The Reading Agency With thanks to Idea Store Watney Market

To mark the 80th anniversary of The Beano, this year's Summer Reading Challenge encourages children to become mischief makers at Wanstead Library. Christine Thompson from Vision RCL reports.

The Reading Agency's annual Summer Reading Challenge is aimed at children aged four to 12 years and helps get three-quarters of a million children into libraries to boost their reading skills and confidence. Children's reading can 'dip' during the summer holidays if they don't have regular access to books and encouragement to read for pleasure.

In 2018, children all over the UK will be invited to embark on an exciting reading adventure in libraries. This year, the theme will be 'Mischief Makers' inspired by the much-loved iconic children's title The Beano, which is celebrating its 80th anniversary.

A number of events will be taking place at Wanstead Library in July and August as part of the challenge, such as slime-making, family storytime and sensory boxes.

Taking part is easy. The aim of the challenge is for children to read six library books of their choice during the summer holidays. Children can read whatever they like – fiction, fact books, joke books, picture books, audiobooks – just as long as they are borrowed from the library. There are fantastic rewards to collect along the way, including a certificate and a medal.

The scheme promises to encourage reading on a giant scale. As children read over the summer, they will use their wits and power of observation to complete a treasure map and pick up some stickers along the way.

Younger children, who are not yet reading, can earn a certificate of their own for visiting the library and borrowing books throughout the summer.

It is never too early to introduce books and reading. Research has shown that if a parent reads to their infant every day, they will be almost 12 months ahead of those who are read to less often. For children under five years, Wanstead Library will continue to run twice-weekly rhymetimes on Wednesdays (2pm to 2.30pm) and Fridays (11am to 11.30am) throughout the summer holidays.

Once your child is in the reading habit and visiting the library regularly, we would love for them to continue. We offer a range of activities during the school holidays, from craft and storytelling to educational workshops.

Throughout the Summer Reading Challenge, library staff working alongside teenage and adult volunteers support the children, helping them to discover new authors and explore a wide range of different types of books.

The 2018 Summer Reading Challenge will run in libraries across Redbridge from 14 July to 8 September (free). For more information, visit wavidi.co/src. To apply to be a Summer Reading Challenge volunteer, visit wavidi.co/srcvol

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