summer reading challenge 2021

Summer Reading Challenge returns to Cheshire East libraries

5 July 2021

Cheshire East Council is delighted to announce that the Summer Reading Challenge is back in our libraries this summer! 

Organised by The Reading Agency in partnership with local libraries across the UK, the theme this year is Wild World Heroes, a celebration of nature and action for the environment. 

The Summer Reading Challenge takes place every year during the summer holidays and it’s easy to get involved. You can sign up at your local library then read any library books of your choice to collect special stickers along the way – all for free! There is a certificate and a medal – or a medal sticker for under 3s – for everyone who finishes the challenge. Libraries will also be running various events alongside the challenge to add to the fun. 

Children's reading can 'dip' during the long summer holidays if they do not have regular access to books and encouragement to read for pleasure. This can also have a knock-on effect for schools, which can then be playing catch-up in the new term. 

The disruption of education caused by the pandemic, has made this challenge even greater. The Reading Agency’s annual Summer Reading Challenge helps by getting children into libraries regularly over the summer, with thousands more taking part online. 

Summer Reading Challenge 2021 started in council libraries across the borough on Saturday and runs all the way through the summer, until early September.

This year, for the first time, families can pre-register their children by phone. Residents simply need to call their local library and staff will then go through the registration details with them and get their packs ready for collection.

CouCllr Mick Warrenncillor Mick Warren chair of Cheshire East Council’s environment and communities committee, said: “It really is encouraging to see that despite the worst the pandemic has thrown at us, that children in Cheshire East are not losing their appetite for reading.

“Reading is such a fantastic pastime for children and the knowledge and sheer joy that it brings to them is something that is hard sometimes to quantify, but wonderful to see. The moment when you see a connection between a child and what they are reading is a really beautiful thing and the Summer Reading Challenge is a fantastic way to keep up that interest in the holiday season.”

The borough’s children are very keen participants: 2019 was a record year for the Summer Reading Challenge with libraries having their highest figures to date for children taking part. Cheshire East also had the largest number of younger pre-school children taking part in the ‘Mini Challenge’ and the highest number of books loaned in any North West library authority. 

The restrictions as a result of the pandemic meant that for the first time, the 2020 Summer Reading Challenge took place entirely digitally in the borough’s libraries. Despite this, Cheshire East had the biggest number of children taking part and completing the challenge in the whole of the North West. The borough’s young people also topped the charts for the number of books read.

To know more about the Summer Reading Challenge, please visit www.summerreadingchallenge.org.uk or pop in to your local library.