Summer Reading Challenge
22nd July 2014
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The summer reading challenge gets underway

15 July 2014

Hundreds of youngsters have helped to launch the popular annual Summer Reading Challenge.

Children gathered at Chesterfield Library and then later at Ilkeston Library to hear author Josh Lacey talk about his Dragonsitter series of books and to declare the Challenge underway.

The Summer Reading Challenge encourages young people in Derbyshire to read six books borrowed from their local library during the summer holidays. They earn stickers throughout the challenge and on completion get a medal, certificate and dragon maze puzzle. There are lots of activities in our libraries whilst the challenge is on.

Every year there is a different theme for the challenge and this year it's "Mythical Maze". The suggested books will challenge children to find their way around a labyrinth, meeting some fantastical creatures from the worlds of legends and mythology. Meanwhile a range of events will include dance, drama, creative writing, mask and sword making, storytelling, puppet making and craft activities.

The Cabinet Member for Health and Communities Councillor Dave Allen said:

I'm delighted that we're running this Challenge in our libraries again.

"It's a great way for children to keep up their reading skills over the summer holidays and to discover new books.

"This year promises to be better than ever with the involvement of professional artists to lead craft, storytelling and dance workshops.

"All these activities help to enhance the literacy skills and confidence of our youngsters which is so important and hopefully they will be having some fun at the same time."

The Mythical Maze Summer Reading Challenge will be running in all Derbyshire libraries from Saturday 12 July until Saturday 13 September. This is a time when children's reading can drop off so the challenge helps them to maintain their reading skills and confidence.  Children can pick up a starter pack at any Derbyshire library.

Older children aged between 13 and 24 will be volunteering to help run the reading challenge at their local library and this will help develop their skills and confidence.

The Summer Reading Challenge is run in conjunction with the Reading Agency and has been taking place for the last 16 years. In 2013 nearly 11,000 young people took part across Derbyshire.  This year a successful bid to the Arts Council by our library service resulted in an award of £10,000. This money will be used to support the Challenge through a range of activities by professional artists such as storytelling, dance and craft activities.

The professional artists are leading the following sessions:

  • Debi Hedderwick. A Derbyshire based dance artist who will animate stories through dance and theatre. She will lead dance and movement sessions for 4 to 9 year olds on Wednesday 6 August at Shirebrook library in the morning and Bolsover Library in the afternoon. Booking essential.
  • Gordon MacLellan. Derbyshire based Gordon will hold sessions for 8 to 12 year olds throughout the county during August. They will include storytelling, making puppets and creative writing. Booking essential.
  • Maria Whatton. Maria from Staffordshire will hold sessions for 8 to 12 year olds throughout the county during August. They will include storytelling, Derbyshire tales, drawing and drama. Booking essential.
  • There will also be four dates involving all three artists and several workshops on each day.

About the Author

Sarah A

Member since: 10th July 2012

Hi, I'm Sarah. I've lived in Heanor with my family for over 10 years and I'm passionate about our beautiful little corner of this historical county. If you know of something that's great about our area,...

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