Dorset libraries launch Summer Reading Challenge with science theme

FREE summer activities and events have been launched in libraries across Dorset for children aged four to 11. 

This summer, children can visit any of the county’s 31 libraries, including its eight community managed libraries, to meet the Gadgeteers and to get involved in a science and innovation themed Summer Reading Challenge.

By taking part in the challenge, with free materials from the Dorset Library Service and online via the challenge website, children will be able to join six fictional Gadgeteers.

The characters – brought to life by children’s writer and illustrator Julian Beresford – use their curiosity and wonder to understand the science behind a whole range of interests, from fashion and technology to cooking and music.

Through an exciting book collection and accompanying activities, the Gadgeteers will help to spark children’s curiosity about the world around them, and encourage them to feed their imagination over the summer holiday.

They will be boggled by brilliant facts, gaze at the stars, and be inspired by tales of creativity and invention. With plenty of great options across picture books, early readers and middle grade books, there’s lots to keep children busy.

Find out about all the Summer Reading Challenge events and library activities for children on the Dorset Council website.

The Summer Reading Challenge reaches more than 700,000 children across the UK each year in partnership with public libraries.

The challenge continued to reach well over half a million children across the UK in 2021 as lockdowns eased, motivating children to keep reading during a difficult time.

Families told The Reading Agency that taking part in the Summer Reading Challenge helped their children to enjoy reading more, feel more confident about reading and ‘feel better’ during a tough period.

Family use of libraries also increased amongst challenge participants, with more than 130,000 children joining the library as new members.

Since 1999, the popular challenge has encouraged children to read for pleasure over the summer holidays, building reading skills and confidence and helping to prevent the ‘dip’ in reading skills while children are out of school.

By providing fun reading activities, the challenge will support families and teachers by providing free-to-access recreation and learning resources – all created to keep children inspired to read.

The digital Summer Reading Challenge platform will encourage children with limited physical access to the library to take part in the challenge.

Karen Napier, CEO of The Reading Agency, said: “We’re delighted to see how library partners across the country are organising their own events and activities to support this year’s Summer Reading Challenge.

“We are really looking forward to working closely with them to help get children reading, innovating, and sparking their imaginations this summer.”

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