CHILDREN from across Staffordshire are invited to join Silly Squad as part of this year’s Summer Reading Challenge.
Supported by Staffordshire County Council’s Libraries Service, the Summer Reading Challenge is the annual campaign to encourage children aged 4 to 11 to continue reading over the summer holidays.
Because of Coronavirus restrictions and many children staying at home, the campaign has been launched online and earlier than usual to help support parents and carers. Children are also being encouraged to read books they have at home, or e-books until libraries are able to re-open safely.
This year children can set their own target number of books to read and as in previous years are rewarded with a personalised downloadable certificate once they complete the challenge.
The theme for 2020 is Silly Squad, a celebration of funny books, happiness and laughter, featuring bespoke artwork from award-winning children's author and illustrator, Laura Ellen Anderson.
Coun Gill Heath, Libraries Chief at Staffordshire County Council said: “This is a brilliant activity that we look forward to every year that helps keep children reading over the summer holidays.
“This year’s theme is Silly Squad, but we’re happy for children to read any books they like.
“And, with our libraries now starting to reopen following lockdown, it’s a great time to get involved. We will be running an ‘order and collect’ service only to start with, so please order your books online or telephone 0300 1118000.
“Reading Together Day is also on July 16, so we hope to get as many children signed up by then as possible.”
Staffordshire’s 43 libraries will begin a phased reopening from Monday, July 6 starting with Burton, Newcastle and Stafford libraries.
Cannock, Leek, Lichfield, Perton and Tamworth libraries will open on Monday, July 20, with Biddulph, Burntwood, Codsall, Kidsgrove, Rugeley, Stone, Uttoxeter and Wombourne scheduled for July 27.
Community managed libraries are being fully supported by the county council and are being encouraged to reopen at their own pace.
People can check re-opening times for libraries plus extra information here or here. Information about eBooks and online borrowing can be found here.
Children can sign up for the Summer Reading Challenge at https://summerreadingchallenge.org.uk/ and take part in family fun activities on the libraries Facebook page at www.facebook.com/staffordshirelibraries