The Tesco Bank Summer Reading Challenge Scotland launched on 20 June with the aim of inspiring children aged 4-11 throughout Scotland to read more. The theme for this year's Challenge is Creepy House.
To celebrate, an excited group of children from Castleview Primary School in Edinburgh enjoyed a day to remember with the new Children's Laureate and our Ambassador Malorie Blackman, at the recently opened Craigmillar Library.
We run the Summer Reading Challenge in Scotland in partnership with library services and Tesco Bank. This year grants will be available to local authorities to promote the Tesco Bank Summer Reading Challenge Scotland through a range of activities such as events with entertainers, authors, animal-handling workshops and other local activity designed to generate excitement around the magic of reading.
This is Tesco Bank's third year supporting the programme in Scotland. Last year, there was also significant growth as nearly 40,000 children engaged positively in reading, a near 13% increase on the previous year.
Summer Reading Challenge website
Children can head to the Summer Reading Challenge website at summerreadingchallenge.org.uk where they can talk about the books they've read, watch videos by famous authors and Blue Peter presenters and find a new book to read using the Booksorter.
There will also be Finish the Story (Share the Glory) competitions. The first story for children to finish is called The Wrong Door and has been started by Charlie Higson. Last year Emily, aged 9 from Crewe, won a laptop for finishing the story Red Man Green Man, started by Julia Donaldson.
Quotes from the launch event
Malorie Blackman said: "I have pledged to use my time as the Waterstone's Children's Laureate to highlight the vital importance of libraries to children's lives, and to local communities. I therefore couldn't be more thrilled to be here, launching Creepy House which will introduce so many children to that vital, lifelong resource, the public library."
Miranda McKearney said: "Research shows that to become literate, it is vital that children enjoy reading. The 'why' is as important as the 'how'. That's why the Tesco Bank Summer Reading Challenge Scotland concentrates on making reading really, really fun. We're very excited to be working again with Scottish libraries and Tesco Bank to change more children's lives." You can read excerpts from Miranda's speech at the Scottish Parliament awareness event on our blog page.
Benny Higgins, chief executive at Tesco Bank, added: "This is now the third year of our partnership with The Reading Agency and we're delighted the programme has continued to grow. Both The Reading Agency and Scotland's libraries play a critical part in supporting reading for pleasure, which is even more important during the long summer holidays. We know that literacy and a love of reading can help to break cycles of deprivation and disadvantage, giving children opportunities for a brighter future."
Greg Dimeck, head teacher at Castleview Primary, said: "The children had a wonderful time at Craigmillar Library today and will definitely be spreading the word about the Tesco Bank Summer Reading Challenge Scotland to their friends and family. They can't wait to get started!"
Children in Scotland will soon be able to sign up to the Tesco Bank Summer Reading Challenge at their local library. Start dates vary so check with your local library. The Challenge launches in England and Wales on 13 July. Children can also sign up to the Summer Reading Challenge website to chat, take part in competitions and find new books using the book sorter.
Parents, carers and grandparents can keep up to date with news from the Summer Reading Challenge by visiting our facebook page.
Watch Frank Lampard talk about being a Summer Reading Challenge Champion on ITV's This Morning on 6 June (at about 7 minutes into the interview).
Librarians can log-in to our resources page to download resources such as logos, training material for staff and activity sheets for children.
This year we're running a donations campaign to help bring the Summer Reading Challenge to more disadvantaged children. It only costs £3 for three children to take part in the Challenge for free. Please donate £3 to our campaign by texting READ06 £3 to 70070 or by visiting justgiving.com/SummerReadingChallenge.