11 July 2012

Northamptonshire County Council’s libraries are getting ready to introduce children to Story Lab, the 2012 Summer Reading Challenge run by The Reading Agency, an independent charity.

During The Summer Reading Challenge children aged 4-12 are encouraged to read six or more books of their choice during the summer holidays, collecting stickers, plus a certificate and medal for every child who completes the challenge.

This year’s theme - Story Lab features four characters Lex, Rani, Will and Evie. Along with Aesop, the ginger lab cat, they will be helping Professor Cortex collect and share stories to inspire thousands of young imaginations. An interactive Story Lab website (www.story-lab.org.uk) will enable children to talk about their favourite books and reading experiences with top authors and illustrators.

All materials are absolutely free and children can sign up at their local library from Saturday 14th July onwards.

Supporting the challenge are over 130 volunteers, mainly young people aged 14 to 17, who help in libraries by joining children to the summer reading challenge , talking with them about the books they have read, and helping with events.

Councillor Heather Smith, county council cabinet member for customer and community services said: “The Summer Reading Challenge is a great way to get children reading and enjoying books as well as encouraging families to visit their local libraries. Thanks also to all the volunteers who support the Summer Reading Challenge and make it a success.”

Anne Sarrag, Summer Reading Challenge director for The Reading Agency, says: “Story Lab is all free fun, which is top news for parents. So mums, dads and carers, pop down to your local library and find out more about what's happening locally, and help your children discover a love of stories this summer whilst they maintain and develop their reading skills over the summer holidays.”

Special celebration events will be taking place in Northamptonshire Libraries in early September. Children who complete the challenge will be invited to attend and have their medals presented by a variety of sports people, local Councillors, Mayors, MPs and others.