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Children challenged to keep reading all year round with the Story Adventurers' Club

The Story Adventurers' Club is a new reading challenge offered by Wiltshire Council libraries and aimed at inspiring four to 16 year-olds to read for pleasure all year round.

Published 10 October 2023
Children participating in the library challenge

The challenge was launched in Wiltshire Council libraries during Libraries Week (2-8 October) and aims to build on the momentum of the council's popular Summer Reading Challenge which attracted over 7000 participants this year.

The aim of the Story Adventurers' Club is to read 100 books, but children can go on to read 200, 300, 400 or more books should they choose. There is no time limit, and children will be encouraged to do it at their own pace and in their own timeframe, choosing books that they want to read. 

To join the challenge children must have a library membership and have started to read independently. Children can register for the challenge at any Wiltshire Council library. It is free to join the library and the challenge. Once registered, children will be offered the choice of one of four special booklets, each with a different design, to record the books they read. As they progress library staff will stamp their booklets and offer ongoing encouragement and support. 

Children can personalise their booklets by adding a photo or drawing of themselves. At various stages in their reading journey they will be asked about their favourite books, fictional places, the coolest thing they've discovered and at the very end - how it felt to complete the challenge, and what was their overall favourite book. On completion, a certificate at the end of the booklet will be stamped and signed, and children can then move onto their next 100 books if they wish.

Cllr Ian Blair Pilling, Cabinet Member for Libraries, said: This is a wonderful new challenge which we hope will inspire and support children and young people to develop a life-long love of reading.

Research has shown that reading regularly for pleasure is known to have positive benefits for children and young people, so I would encourage families to come along to their local library to find out more and sign up.

The challenge is for all children four to 16 years-old, whatever their abilities and interests, and library staff will be on hand to help choose books and encourage them throughout the challenge.

Children participating in the challenge have shared their thoughts on the experience. Harriet Taylor, now 16, was the first child to read 1000 books in Wiltshire for the original 100 Club Scheme. She said: The challenge was such a big part of my childhood, taking up so many years and was so positive. It helped me grow as a person and I learned to fall even more in love with reading. My advice for new Story Adventurers is to get stuck into as many books as you can. It's great for your brain and there's a direct correlation that children who read for enjoyment are the people who do well in school.

Laurie Needham, 10 said: It's a great way to remember all your reads from the past.

Research shows that reading for pleasure supports good mental health and wellbeing, educational attainment and future career prospects. Reading also supports creativity and empathy.

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