Simon Hart MP supports campaign for every child to join local library and share a love of reading

Simon Hart MP is backing a campaign to encourage all primary school children to take part in this year’s Summer Reading Challenge.

The Summer Reading Challenge builds confidence and independent reading, while helping to prevent the dip in children’s reading levels during the long summer break from school.

This year's theme is Space Chase, inspired by the 50th anniversary of the first moon landing.  All children need to do is to head to their local library and they will be given special mission folder to keep track of the six library books they'll be reading over the summer as part of the Challenge. There are also lots of collectible incentives to help motivate them in their reading mission!

Mr Hart said: “I hope everyone will take their children to the library over the summer to sign up for the Challenge.  It’s free, inclusive and makes reading fun.  Last year 2,296 children in Carmarthenshire and Pembrokeshire took part which was a wonderful achievement.”

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 Summer Reading Challenge is a unique partnership between The Reading Agency and public libraries across the UK. Last year around 700,000 children took part borrowing, reading and talking about their favourite books.

Children can use the special website spacechase.org.uk to create a profile, chat about books, and get help on what to read next, via the digital Book Sorter which already offers over 900,000 peer to peer children’s book recommendations in child-friendly categories. 

Sue Wilkinson, CEO of The Reading Agency said: “At The Reading Agency, we tackle life’s big challenges through the proven power of reading. We know from our research that families and children love taking part in the Summer Reading Challenge, and we are proud to have been running the Challenge for twenty years this year. The space theme has been chosen to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the first moon landing. Last summer, children worked with illustrator Adam Stower to come up with ideas for the Space Chase adventure, and we hope the Challenge will inspire all children to use their local library and to read lots of great books throughout the summer and beyond."