Over 2000 children from across South Gloucestershire participated in the 2020 Summer Reading Challenge which was hosted by South Gloucestershire Council’s Libraries again this year, despite of the challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Children aged between 4 and 11 from across the district were encouraged to sign-up and read books they enjoy over the school summer holidays with the objective of becoming more confident and independent readers.

The Summer Reading Challenge is the biggest children’s reading for pleasure programme in the UK. Last year over 700,000 children and their families took part.

This year the theme of the Challenge was based around fun and laughter and was named ‘Silly Squad’, with children and families provided with free Summer Reading Challenge bags by their local library, or invited to join online so they could participate at home.

To celebrate the successful completion of the 2020 Challenge, Chair of South Gloucestershire Council, Councillor June Bamford and Cabinet Member for Communities and Tourism, Councillor Rachael Hunt met four local children at Emersons Green Library to recognise the achievement of all the children who took part this year.

Councillor June Bamford said: “I’d like to congratulate all of the children who took part in this year’s Summer Reading Challenge and it has been a pleasure to meet a small number of the participants here with their certificates.

"The Challenge has been different this year for obvious reasons, but our children have continued to rise to it by showing their passion for reading throughout the summer.

"Reading can have such a positive effect on the learning and development of children and this challenge encourages them to keep their reading skills sharp through the school holidays and into the new academic year.”

Councillor Rachael Hunt added: “It has been fantastic to see how the Summer Reading Challenge has inspired so many children over the past few months and all of the participants can be very proud of their efforts.

"Our Libraries have done a great job in continuing to provide services for our residents in some difficult circumstances and this year’s Summer Reading Challenge is a prime example of that.”

Helen Lavery is a parent of three children who all completed this year’s Challenge, she said: “My children thoroughly enjoyed this year's reading Challenge.

"They worked together completing the craft activities and most importantly read plenty of books!

"Having a structure during the summer holiday really helped keep them on track. A massive thank you to our library for supporting my children through the challenge.”

Children can find new books to read, win great book prizes and share recommendations with other readers on the safe, child-friendly and moderated, Summer Reading Challenge website: www.summerreadingchallenge.org.uk