We are pleased to announce a cross-sector initiative partnering with over twenty organisations to encourage children's reading and learning over the summer and support families, teachers and librarians with free resources and events. The Summer of Reading initiative will launch on 14 June, with organisations working together on a shared programme of activity, aiming to reach as many families and children as possible.
Organisations taking part in the Summer of Reading include: Arts Council England, ASCEL, Authors Aloud, Book Clubs in Schools, BookTrust, Bookmark, the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, Calibre Audio, CILIP, Coram Beanstalk, Libraries Connected, National Literacy Trust, Open University, Peters, Pop Up Projects, Read for Good, SLA, The British Library, The Reader, The Reading Agency and World Book Day.
Throughout the summer, families will be encouraged to share their reading activity on social media with the hashtag #SummerOfReading. The extensive programme of activity will be available from 14 June, with new events and resources being announced every week, through to 17 September - including both digital activity and in-person events at libraries as they re-open. Confirmed events so far include Pop Up Project's livestreamed showcase and their 10 Stories to Make a Difference launch at the British Library, as well as the launch of The Reading Agency's 2021 Summer Reading Challenge with WWF and the Teacher's Reading Challenge in partnership with the OU, to give teachers and librarians access to a wide range of reading for pleasure content for children and young people.
The initiative has been coordinated as part of a collaborative effort to help ensure that children who need the benefits of reading most have access to summer reading activity as the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic continue to be felt acutely by children, parents and carers.
Sue Williamson, Director Libraries, Arts Council England said:
"Arts Council England is delighted to support The Reading Agency's Summer of Reading programme. We believe not only in the proven power of reading in tackling societal concerns but also that reading is an immensely powerful creative act. As the national development agency for public libraries, we welcome the emphasis on the library network to enable so many to take part using library resources which are free at the point of contact in nearly 3,000 libraries across England. We also welcome the opportunity for publishers, booksellers and libraries to work together in support of this great initiative to encourage everyone to discover the magic that lives within the pages of a book."
Karen Napier, CEO, The Reading Agency said:
"We are delighted to be collaborating with such a wonderful range of partners for the Summer of Reading. After a hugely challenging year, we are acutely aware of the pressure on families and teachers, and the vital need to tackle the attainment gap and ensure children and young people have access to fun reading activity. Last year's Reading Together Day showed the power in collaboration and the appetite across the country for summer reading events and resources, and we are hugely grateful to all the organisations participating this year in yet another hugely important summer initiative to share the proven power of reading."
Culture Minister Caroline Dinenage said:
"Reading is powerful: it teaches us new things, opens our minds, and inspires our creativity. Bringing together a brilliant network of libraries and other organisations, this new initiative will provide fantastic reading events and resources helping to reach those who need support the most."
Head to readingagency.org.uk/SummerofReading to find out more.