Libraries across Monmouthshire will welcome children to this year’s circus-themed Summer Reading Challenge, captivating them throughout the long school summer holidays. The Summer Reading Challenge is an immensely popular and successful reading initiative which reaches 750,000 children annually via the UK library network. It is created and run by The Reading Agency - an independent charity working to inspire more people to read more - and is supported by children’s publishers. Last year 97% of Britain‘s library authorities took part.
Children between 4 and 11 are to be encouraged to read six or more books of their choice, collecting stickers along the way plus a certificate or medal at the completion of the Challenge. An added incentive is the chance to enter both a county-wide prize draw for an iPAD and local library based draws to win a Circus Skills kit bag.
Based on a circus skills theme, the 2011 Challenge follows six children who have signed for a contemporary circus skills academy. As they read books, mirrored by children across the UK enjoying 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, provides games to play and space to talk about their favourite books. Circus Stars also promotes the local library as a place of wonder for children, where staff can offer invaluable advice and guidance.
Special launch events take place on Saturday 16th July when The Streetentertainers Company hold Circus Skills workshops in Monmouth Library at 10.30 a.m. and Abergavenny Library at 2.00 p.m. The following Saturday, 23rd July sees the Booster Cushion Theatre give performaces of Little Red Riding Hood & Friends in Caldicot Library at 11 a.m. and Chepstow Library at 3 p.m.
For further information contact Vivienne Thomas on 01873 735984, e-mail email@example.com