Stoke-on-Trent Libraries is encouraging children to sign up to read six books and visit their local library three times as part of this year’s fantastic Summer Reading Challenge.

In 2020 the annual challenge was only available online due to national pandemic restrictions – so this will be the first time in two years that families can visit their local library to take part.

The Summer Reading Challenge is aimed at four to 11-year-olds and the theme for 2021 is ‘Wild World Heroes’.

To take part, all children need to do is sign up at their nearest library, where they will be given a collector’s folder to keep a record of their journey.

During the challenge, Stoke-on-Trent Libraries has also planned a programme of events and activities for families over the holidays.

These will include fantastic storytelling performances, chances to meet and learn about some amazing animals, getting creative with clay, exploring fascinating science experiments and more.

After they have signed up for the challenge, children will be asked to help six Wild Heroes from Wilderwille. They will find out about the importance of the environment and how to solve threats to nature.

When the young people read a library book, they will receive special stickers, some of which are described as ‘gloriously smelly’.

By adding these stickers to their map of Wilderville, the children will help the heroes fix the problems and make a better place for people and animals to live.

All children who complete the Summer Reading Challenge will receive a certificate and a medal. Wild World Heroes runs until Saturday, 18 September.

Summer-reading-challenge-SOT-2021
Wild World Heroes Summer Reading Challenge 2021

Councillor Lorraine Beardmore, Stoke-on-Trent City Council cabinet member for public health, culture and leisure, said: “It’s great to be able to welcome families to our libraries again for the Summer Reading Challenge. Last year’s project was all done online, so our library teams are very excited to see children get their packs and choose their books in person this time.

“The Summer Reading Challenge is such a wonderful way to encourage your children to develop a love of books that will last a lifetime. It’s certainly something my children have really enjoyed getting involved with over the years – and I’d encourage families to sign up and take on the challenge together over the summer holidays.”

To find out more and to book a free place for any of the summer events, visit www.stoke.gov.uk/summerreadingchallenge

For more information about Stoke-on-Trent libraries, including our Click, Call and Collect service and more – visit https://www.stoke.gov.uk/libraries

Steve Backshall MBE, BAFTA-winning British explorer, naturalist, presenter and writer – and Reading Challenge ambassador, said: “I am thrilled to be supporting the Summer Reading Challenge 2021. The Reading Agency has teamed up with WWF for Wild World Heroes, an exciting nature-themed reading challenge that will inspire children to take action for the environment.

“Wild World Heroes will spark conversations about the issues facing our planet, from plastic pollution to wildlife decline, and will show how we can all work together to look after our world. By taking part in the challenge, children will unlock the benefits of reading for pleasure – it’s never been more important for young people to keep up their reading skills and confidence over the summer holidays. Wild World Heroes is a brilliant way to get children reading and talking about big issues. Happy Summer of Reading.”

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