Walsall Libraries keeping young minds and bodies active over the summer holidays
This summer, children aged 4-11 can visit any Walsall Library to get involved in free activities to keep them engaged and entertained over the school break. This includes a Summer Reading Challenge themed around the power of play, sport, games and physical activity.
From Saturday 8 July children will be able to take part in the challenge, with free materials available from all Walsall Libraries and online via the Summer Reading Challenge website. Children will be encouraged to keep their minds and bodies active over the summer break with characters brought to life by children’s author and illustrator Loretta Schauer and activity challenge cards from the Youth Sport Trust. These will allow them to navigate a fictional summer obstacle course and track their reading as they go, rewarded by free incentives including stickers.
To launch the Summer Reading Challenge initiative, Walsall Libraries will be holding a number of free activities for families on Saturday 8 July. Lichfield Street Hub will be running their Lego and Coding Clubs (10am-12pm), Saturday Stories (2.30pm) and Games Club (3-4pm); Brownhills Community Library will be holding a launch ‘Ready, Set, Read!’ for 6-11 year olds (9am-5pm); Streetly Community Library will be promoting the Challenge all day, including Lego Fun with a sports theme (11am-12.30pm); a themed Storytime will take place at Willenhall Community Library (2.30pm) as well as a Treasure Hunt, and Bloxwich Community Library will have activity sheets available to children interested in signing up.
Walsall Libraries will also be holding a series of free activities for families throughout the summer holidays to encourage reading. The full programme can be found at https://go.walsall.gov.uk/walsall-libraries
The Summer Reading Challenge has been running since 1999 and helps to improve children’s reading skills and confidence over the summer holidays, ensuring they are ready for their return to school. With the help of local libraries, the Summer Reading Challenge is accessible to all and provides a fun, free activity for children. In 2022, the Summer Reading Challenge reached 723,184 children and families across the UK, with 608,015 children taking part through their local library service, a 31% increase compared to 2021. The Challenge also drove 132,223 new children's library memberships which is 40% higher than the 2019 pre-pandemic total.
“ These activities will not only keep young minds active but also nurture their reading skills, fostering a lifelong love for learning. The Reading Agency's Summer Reading Challenge is a wonderful initiative exploring both reading and physical activity. I’m looking forward to seeing children across the Borough getting involved! “
Notes to Editors
Discover what’s on at your local library at https://go.walsall.gov.uk/walsall-libraries
Find out more about the Borough’s Libraries, Museum & Gallery here: https://go.walsall.gov.uk/museums-libraries-and-galleries
Walsall’s 7 libraries are;
- Aldridge Community Library
- Bloxwich Community Library
- Brownhills Community Library
- Darlaston Community Library
- Lichfield Street Hub
- Streetly Community Library
- Willenhall Community Library
The Mobile Library service timetable can be found at https://go.walsall.gov.uk/walsall-libraries/our-libraries/mobile-library-services
About The Summer Reading Challenge The Summer Reading Challenge is run by the Reading Agency for children across the UK and is delivered in partnership with public libraries. It has been running for the past 24 years and aims to foster a lifelong love of reading and tackle the drop off in reading that can happen over the school summer holidays. Children are challenged to read books over the summer and encouraged to enjoy reading for fun. Each year has a different theme – 2022 was ‘Gadgeteers’ and 2021 was ‘Wild World Heroes’. More information can be found here: https://summerreadingchallenge.org.uk/
About The Reading Agency
The Reading Agency is a national charity that tackles life’s big challenges through the proven power of reading. We work closely with partners to develop and deliver programmes for people of all ages and backgrounds; our vision is for a world where everyone is reading their way to a better life.
The Reading Agency help 1.9 million people benefit from reading every year, through their programmes, their tireless campaigning, excellent networks and power to influence, challenge and make change happen. www.readingagency.org.uk
About the Youth Sport Trust: The Youth Sport Trust is a UK leading children’s charity for improving young people's wellbeing through sport and play. It empowers young people and equips educators to transform lives. Founded in 1995, it works with around 20,000 schools and inspires Changemakers to build a sense of belonging. Its vision is to create a future where every child enjoys the life-changing benefits of play and sport. Visit the YST website for ideas, tips and information www.youthsporttrust.org
About Arts Council England:
Arts Council England is the national development agency for creativity and culture. We have set out our strategic vision in Let’s Create that by 2030 we want England to be a country in which the creativity of each of us is valued and given the chance to flourish and where everyone of us has access to a remarkable range of high quality cultural experiences. We invest public money from Government and The National Lottery to help support the sector and to deliver this vision. www.artscouncil.org.uk Following the Covid-19 crisis, the Arts Council developed a £160 million Emergency Response Package, with nearly 90% coming from the National Lottery, for organisations and individuals needing support. We are also one of the bodies administering the Government’s unprecedented £1.96 billion Culture Recovery Funds. Find out more at www.artscouncil.org.uk/covid19