Last year we announced a new partnership with the Children's University, which meant that Passport To Learning holders were able to gain stamps in their learning passports for taking part in the Summer Reading Challenge and reading up to 6 books.
Children could take their passport to their local library and have it stamped for 1 hour of Children's University learning per library book - so up to 6 hours of Children's University learning if they completed the Challenge and read all 6 books. And up to 10 hours if they took part in workshops or other linked activities.
Now this year we're extending this partnership to include both the Summer Reading Challenge and Chatterbooks!
In 2012 over 30 library authorities were involved, supporting Children's University children taking part in the Summer Reading Challenge. This year we hope to extend that to every library authority taking part in the scheme.
We are delighted to have this partnership with the Children's University. It is an excellent scheme which gives children new opportunities to gain extra hours in their Passports to Learning and opens the doors to a whole range of creative activities inspired through reading.
How it's working in Sefton
In Sefton, staff are already gearing up for this year's Summer Reading Challenge, Creepy House.
Library staff will be visiting primary schools to encourage children to take part in this year's Challenge and explaining how they can also earn stamps in their Children's University Passports to Learning.
Sefton Libraries run six Chatterbooks reading groups for five to 14 year olds, so children who take part in the annual Summer Reading Challenge can also enjoy reading activities all year round. Members of Sefton's Chatterbooks reading groups can earn stamps in their Children's University passports and Sefton are finding that Chatterbooks members are great ambassadors for the Summer Reading Challenge in schools.
A parent of a child who took part in last year's scheme said: "The Summer Reading Challenge ensured Ethan read at a stage when he was moving towards independent reading and it definitely helped him to achieve this. An added bonus was that he could also earn time in his Children's University passport - it encouraged him to read more."
About the Children's University
Students aged 5 to 14 years can enrol in the Children's University through their school and are issued with a Passport To Learning, in which they log the number of hours they spend on validated activities. They are encouraged to work their way through Bronze, Silver and Gold certificate schemes. Currently over 2,900 schools and academies participate in the Children's University and there are over 1,800 public Learning Destinations including museums, libraries and galleries as well as BBC Visitor Centres, Nature Detective Trail, Masterchef, Museum Club and Junior Journalists.
Children's University validators assure the quality of each learning destination using the framework they have developed with Professor John MacBeath of the University of Cambridge.
Libraries wanting to sign up as a learning destination can download the Children's University briefing notes, and the Destination for Learning logo, from our resources area.
You will need your Summer Reading Challenge log-in to access these resources.
Parents can find their nearest Children's University to get their children engaged in the scheme.