The Summer Reading Challenge
The Summer Reading Challenge is a free reading for pleasure programme designed for children between the ages of 4 and 11.
In 2019, 722,731 children took part in libraries across the UK and in 21 countries internationally.
It's free, local and inclusive
- The Summer Reading Challenge is inclusive of all primary school aged children and all stages of reading development.
- It's free to take part - families simply visit their library during the holidays to sign up, and children will receive fun materials to get them started.
- Children read six or more library books of their choice and receive incentives along the way to encourage them. There's a certificate for everyone who finishes the Challenge.
- There is also a mini-challenge for pre-school children so that the whole family can take part.
- Family information leaflets are available in a range of community languages and many items are available in large print.
- Libraries stock accessible texts, audio books, dual-language books, picture books and graphic novels. RNIB Library also makes a selection of Summer Reading Challenge books available in accessible formats for blind or partially sighted children, and for children with a print disability who cannot read standard print.
How do schools benefit?
By getting involved in the Summer Reading Challenge, your school can:
- Enhance and support its reading initiatives and involve parents and the wider community.
- Celebrate the joy of reading whilst ensuring all children are able to read well by the age of 11
- Continue to support pupils' learning during the holidays
- Help to prevent the trend for children's reading skills to dip over the holidays.
- Ensure your pupils return in the autumn term ready for a great start to the new academic year
How do schools get involved?
- Invite your local library staff into school to talk about the Summer Reading Challenge.
- Inspire your pupils to participate, using our children's website, posters and activity sheets (available Easter 2020).
- Inform parents and support those who might find it harder to take part or engage with library services, using our family leaflets and activity sheets (available Easter 2020)
- Celebrate the achievements of pupils who participate in the Challenge when they return to school in the autumn.
When does the Challenge start and finish?
The Summer Reading Challenge will launch in libraries in Scotland on Saturday 20 June 2020.
The Challenge will launch in libraries in England and Wales on Saturday 11 July 2020.
The Reading Agency does not set an official end date for the Summer Reading Challenge.
Local variations will apply, so we recommend you check with your local library service to find out when the Challenge will begin and end in your area.
Find out more about the impact of the Summer Reading Challenge through our latest case studies and our 2019 participation report.
Our new project will evaluate the impact of the Summer Reading Challenge on children's progress and attitudes towards books and reading. Participating schools will be eligible for a range of rewards and prizes. They will also receive an analysis of their test data for school use, and compensation for their involvement in the evaluation. Find out more and see how your school can get involved here.
Parents and supporters of the Summer Reading Challenge can find more news and our latest children's reader development offers on our Facebook page.
Children can chat, get reading recommendations and enter competitions on our Summer Reading Challenge website.
If you would like more information about the Summer Reading Challenge please get in touch.
We also co-ordinate a national network of reading groups for children called Chatterbooks.
These run throughout the year and are mostly based in local libraries and schools.
Find out more about the resources available for you to set up your own children's reading group.
Visit our Shop to order a Chatterbooks group leader toolkit and to see our latest reading group offers. You can also find hundreds of free resources including reading group guides and activity packs on our Resources page.
If you would like more information about Chatterbooks please get in touch
Reading Well for children
Reading Well for children provides quality-assured information, stories and advice to support children's mental health and wellbeing. Books have been chosen and recommended by leading health professionals and co-produced with children and families.
The booklist is targeted at children in Key Stage 2 (aged 7-11), but includes titles aimed at a wide range of reading levels to support less confident readers, and to encourage children to read together with their siblings and carers.
Find out more about the scheme and access supporting resources here.