Sitting down and reading a good book is one of the best things anyone at any age can do.
It certainly is a great way to relieve potential boredom for children and provide a much needed respite from the gadgets of modern technology and entertainment. The summer holiday however, can present a bit of a challenge in getting children to read regularly after a tiring year at school, especially for those that are not enthusiastic bookworms. So it’s unsurprising that many children experience what has come to be known as the summer slide or dip, where reading skills decrease over the long holiday.
Is there a solution? Joining the UK’s biggest reading for pleasure programme, ‘The Big Friendly Read’ summer 2016 reading challenge is a great start! Reading is integral to a child’s cognitive development and research shows that taking part in the challenge can help children improve their literacy skills during the summer.
The yearly challenge created by independent charity, The Reading Agency, encourages children aged between four and eleven to read six books over the summer holiday. With a different theme each year, children can pick whatever type of book they like as long as it’s been borrowed from a library. This year, the theme is all about Roald Dahl honouring the centenary of the celebrated author. The collection of books showcased, selected by children’s librarians, industry professionals and children, represent the popular themes from Dahl’s stories: friendship, mischief, adventure, incension, word play and champions. Children will receive special rewards for each book they finish and there’s a certificate for everyone who completes the Challenge, so it will be a great boost to their confidence in addition to enhancing reading skills.
Open to all primary aged children of all abilities, the challenge launched on Saturday 16 July at libraries up and down the country with a whole programme of events and activities for families over the summer. It’s very easy to join, just head over to your local library to sign up and take part. For those over the age of eleven, why not create your own challenge with family and friends.