Children between 4 and 11 are encouraged to read six or more books of their choice during the Summer holidays and they will get collectable incentives and rewards - plus a certificate or medal for every child who completes the Challenge.
The 2011 Summer Reading Challenge is called Circus Stars and follows six children who have signed up for a contemporary circus skills academy. As they read books, mirrored by children everywhere who are doing the Challenge via their local libraries, they gain new circus skills through three important stages: Practice, Rehearsal and Showtime!
Huw Lewis, Minister for Housing, Regeneration and Heritage said:
"Reading is not only an essential life skill, but also a great source of enjoyment for children. Instilling a passion for reading early on is crucial to help them develop their skills and our libraries can play a central role in supporting this.
"Libraries have diversified considerably over the last decade but they are still true to their reading roots and offer resources in a range of formats, from traditional books to online tools.
"This project is a fantastic way to get our children reading and I encourage everyone to pop along to their local library this summer to take advantage of what’s on offer."
An interactive Circus Stars website www.circus-stars.org.uk links children with top authors and illustrators, has games to play and gives them space to talk about their favourite books.. Circus Stars also promotes the local library as a place of wonder for children, where library staff can offer invaluable advice and guidance.
Once again this year there are large print Summer Reading Challenge materials available for visually impaired children, thanks to the support of the RNIB National Library Service and the Welsh Government provides funding support through the Welsh Books Council to enable the provision of bilingual materials in Wales.
The Summer Reading Challenge is just one of many exciting schemes public libraries are developing to help children develop a love of reading, gain confidence and get new skills. Call in to your local library or visit www.library.wales.org to find out more.