GUEST COLUMN: Join the thousands who have signed up for summer reading challenge, by Coun John Knight

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So far this summer, thousands of children across Nottinghamshire have signed up at Inspire’s libraries for The Big Friendly Read, Summer Reading Challenge 2016.

This year’s challenge celebrates the 100 year anniversary of Roald Dahl’s birth and has proved very popular with young readers.

The initiative challenges children aged from four-to-11 to read six library books of their choice over the summer. There’s a reward for every book read with a medal and certificate for every child who manages to complete the challenge by reading all six books.

The challenge is produced by The Reading Agency and runs in libraries all over the country. Families have until Sunday September 11 to complete the challenge.

It is being managed in Nottinghamshire by Inspire, a community benefit society which delivers a range of cultural, art, library and learning services in Nottinghamshire. These services are funded by Nottinghamshire County Council, The Arts Council of England and Education and Skills funding agencies.

This year’s Summer Reading Challenge is delivered in collaboration with The Roald Dahl Literary Estate.

Taking part in the challenge is a great way to keep up children’s reading skills and confidence over the summer holidays.

Inspire is encouraging children to keep on reading and remind them to visit the libraries to pick up their rewards.

Library staff and volunteers are on hand to hear what children thought about the books they have read.

How it works:

· Children sign up for free at the library and pick up a Big Friendly Read collector folder, with six tempting teaser extracts from some of Roald Dahl’s popular tales.

· Children choose the books they want to read. It doesn’t need to be a Roald Dahl book – it could be a story book, a fact book, joke book, picture book or audio book – as long as it is borrowed from the library all reading counts!

· For every book read children will pick up special collector cards featuring amazing artwork, by Quentin Blake, of Roald Dahl’s much loved characters. Some cards are smelly! There is also a door hanger to collect along the way.

· Every child who completes the challenge by reading six library books will receive a medal, certificate and a pair of marvellous rainbow glasses.

It’s all free fun and a great way to keep children reading over the summer holidays.