The Tesco Bank Summer Reading Challenge Scotland launches its 2012 initiative today
(Tuesday 19th June) to help encourage more school children from across Scotland to pick up a book for fun.
Each year the Challenge is based around an exciting theme which seeks to inject fun and
creativity into reading to draw in and motivate primary school children aged four to 12 to read for pleasure. This year's theme "Storylab", takes them on an imaginative adventure based on the power of stories.
Run by charity The Reading Agency, in partnership with 30 library services and Tesco Bank, the Challenge aims to reach more than 35,000 children across Scotland. The programme provides inspiration to join the library and read six books during the summer break from school, a time when traditionally there is a dip in children's literacy skills.
Specific support will benefit 30 local authorities to promote the Tesco Bank Summer Reading Challenge Scotland, with storytelling sprints, entertainers, authors, flip cameras and other local activity designed to generate excitement around the magic of reading.
Tesco Bank first lent its support to the programme last year where 34,826 children were
involved, an increase of 12.3% on 2010. It is hoped that this number will rise once again this year.
Children's author and actor Jonathan Meres attended today's launch at the recently opened Drumbrae Library Hub in Edinburgh where he hosted an interactive storytelling session for pupils from Fox Covert Primary School.
Jonathan likes nothing better than enthusing the children he speaks to and changing
perceptions of what authors 'are supposed to be like.' He said: "If I can get just one kid in a library who wouldn't normally be seen dead there - my work here is done".
Miranda Kearney, chief executive of The Reading Agency, said:
"We're deadly serious about making reading enjoyable because research shows that reading for pleasure can bust disadvantaged children out of a difficult start in life.
"The Tesco Bank Summer Reading Challenge Scotland is all about making reading fun, and shines a bright light on the crucial role public libraries play in developing children's literacy."
Paul Morris, Managing Director, Marketing at Tesco Bank added:
"We are delighted to that our new long term partnership with The Reading Agency will enable the Tesco Bank Summer Reading Challenge Scotland to reach even more children this year.
"As with all our programmes, our commitment is to widen accessibility and opportunities for children by providing them with healthy choices in a fun way, be it through football, the arts or literacy and reading."
Yvonne Manning, Principal Librarian at Falkirk Council, and Scotland's representative on the Summer Reading Challenge strategic group commented:
"We are delighted that Tesco Bank is again supporting this vitally important project in Scotland, by providing each participating local authority the opportunity to engage in relevant, exciting and engaging activity in our communities as part of this year's delivery."