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Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Children's Summer Reading Challenge launched by the Gruffalo !!

Children's laureate, Julia Donaldson, launches the 2012 Summer Reading Challenge
As new research shows that less than two-thirds of parents with children of primary-school age have registered them at their local library, authors are urging families to increase this tally. Donaldson, who is the children's laureate and author of The Gruffalo, has called on everyone to get involved with Story Lab, which launches on Saturday with a challenge for every child between four and 11 to read six library books during the summer holidays.

"The Summer Reading Challenge brings together two of my favourite things – reading and libraries," said Donaldson. "It's free, it's a fun thing to do in the summer holidays and it's going to create lots of life-long readers. So let's get hundreds of thousands of children joining in and earning 'Olympic style' medals."
Last year 780,000 children took part in the Summer Reading Challenge, with 444,600 children reading at least six books and 55,000 children joining a library to take part. Children who use libraries are twice as likely to be above-average readers, according to the challenge's organiser, the Reading Agency. The new research from Ipsos MORI found that 61% of parents had registered their children at the library or borrowed books for their children to read.

Carried out among 504 parents with children of primary-school age, the survey discovered that just over a quarter (26%) of parents had bought their children electronic reading aids – such as InnoTab or LeapPad – to encourage reading, while 16% let their children use e-readers or bought them their own digital devices. Most parents (89%) had books at home to promote reading, 79% bought their children books, comics or magazines, and 76% read their children stories.

"We must not deny a single child the library's help," said Miranda McKearney, the Reading Agency's chief executive. "No home library can ever provide the rich reading support on offer in public libraries. Let's make this summer one about building a fairer society by introducing every family to libraries' vibrant, motivating support to help turn children into readers for life."

Other authors taking part in the challenge, which will see a range of talks and activities across the UK's public libraries, include Malorie Blackman, Michael Rosen and Anthony Horowitz.

Alison Flood 

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